AFL-CIO reorganizes as part of budget trims

Facing a large hole in its budget, due to the end of an “affinity card” credit card agreement, the AFL-CIO reorganized its internal structure as part of a series of moves to trim its spending.

Union leaders at the Executive Council meeting in San Antonio decided to consolidate all the federation’s non-constitutional departments into three “hubs”: Campaigns and Mobilization, Legislation and Policy and Governance and Administration.

Departments written into the federation’s constitution, such as the Building Trades and the Maritime Trades, would remain.

The consolidation accompanies a federation-wide pay freeze, covering the staff, department heads and leaders such as AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. It also follows dozens of post-election layoffs, mostly of long-term temp workers who were told when they were hired that their tenure would last only through the end of the 2016 election campaign.

Estimates put the loss from the end of the credit card agreement at between $10 million and $15 million yearly. The higher figure would be around nine percent of the AFL-CIO budget. Most federation funds are from per capita assessments on its unions, based on membership.

That makes further state right-to-work laws, especially against the public sector, a particular threat, one observer inside the room later said, after asking not to be named. Citing what happened in Wisconsin, he said RTW laws could produce sharp numbers declines.

Source: PAI