Feed on

Compare How Easy

It is to find data on the average wages of various American workers, or how many Americans go without health insurance, with data on typical union dues, assets and income as required by the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA). I’ll be showing you some of the data later. For a nibble, consider that the SEIU (Service Workers Union) in 1997 organized strippers from the Lusty Lady peep show in San Francisco.

In 2002, SEIU (with 1.46 million members) generated $151 million in receipts — about $103 per member. By 2006, it generated $274 million in receipts (with 1.58 million members) — about $173 per member. So, union dues for a union that represents arguably the lowest paid workers in the country, increased by 68% in just a 4 year period. And this from a group that makes its hay arguing that low-wage worker wages have not increased one bit since 1980. Something has to give.

Another nice bit … the average wage of a leisure and hospitality worker (among the people SEIU might seemingly represent) was just over $10 in 2006 (about $20,000 per year). The SEIU President makes over $250,000. And that is above the table earnings. And check out how many workers (outside the Executive Board) the SEIU pays less than the equivalent of the minimum wage, and certainly under the $10 per hour wage that Walmart pays its own lowest paid workers. I guess if they title the workers as organizers in training then that gives them cover. Well, aren’t most entry level workers also in training? Heck, even I am in training. And didn’t the UAW try to organize graduate students despite the fact that they were in training?

I’ll extract some of this data and present average annual union dues and expenditures shortly. There will also be a revealing story about a “Grassroots Campaigns” organization coming shortly.

Leave a Reply