Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

  1. Bloated Budgets and Sagging Membership

    The United Auto Workers (UAW) hit two records last year – the lowest number of active members since the great recession and the highest amount of money spent on staff salaries in that same time period.

    A careful analysis of the UAW’s most recent financial filings with the Department of Labor reveals that the union spent over $86 million on gross salary disbursements to its officers and employees in 2023, while its membership fell to the lowest level since 2009. 

    Laid out on a graph, the numbers are jarring. Today the UAW has over 500 staff members and officers receiving six-figure salaries. Some six-figure-earning union officers even pay their executive assistants six-figure salaries.

    Salary is only part of the story for the UAW’s spending spree. The union’s overall expenses have grown to the nine-figure sum of over $470 million – the highest number digitally recorded by the Department of Labor. This includes millions of dollars spent on lawyers, public relations consultants, and luxury hotels. Last year, the national headquarters even spent $70,000 on a golf outing. 

    This data puts the UAW’s current organizing campaign into a new perspective. With membership declining and salaries exploding, the union needs new members to pay into the system fast. It takes the dues payments of an estimated 80,000 autoworkers to support those staffers and officers alone, which is tough to do with the Big Three laying off workers left and right. Without new paychecks to siphon dues from, those 500+ union staffers making six figures might need to get real jobs. 

    Categories: UAW
  2. SEIU Stands With Anti-Israel Campus Chaos

    The SEIU has decided to inject itself into the Israel debate once again by issuing a statement supporting the protests against Israel currently happening across the country, specifically on college campuses. 

    Columbia University in New York has been a prime location for protesting students. Some of these protesters even barricaded themselves in one of the school buildings. Protesters chanted that Oct. 7th would happen “10,000 more times” and that Oct. 7th was “going to be every day for you.

    President Joe Biden condemned the “blatant antisemitism” as reprehensible and dangerous. The events at Columbia finally ended when students blocked off a school building with metal gates, tables, and chairs before eventually being arrested in a full scale NYPD raid. 

    At UCLA, over one hundred protesters were arrested at an anti-Israel encampment following an hours-long confrontation. Before the final confrontation, UCLA was forced to cancel classes as violence erupted at the encampment between police and protesters donning “helmets, masks and goggles.” When the area was finally cleared, heaps of trash could be seen piled up across the former home of the anti-Israel encampment. 

    If the events described sound unlike anything related to the free speech being described in the SEIU’s X post, you would be correct.

    While the SEIU national X account – formerly Twitter –  has been standing up for these aggressive protesters,  the union’s locals have also been actively holding anti-Israel protests around the country. 

    SEIU 2015 was seen on May 1, 2024, marching to the San Francisco City Hall with Palestinian flags in hand. Reports also indicated that SEIU Local 87 was planning on marching for Palestine the same day.

    Meanwhile, high-profile SEIU Campaign Director Larry Alcoff – whose controversial history was explored by the Washington Free Beacon – has seemingly continued to attend anti-Israel protests, even posting a sign on Facebook that read, “Zionism is anti-Semitism.” Alcoff’s son – who has appeared at the same protests – currently boasts an X account that reads “Death to Zionism.”

    These are not the first instances of anti-Israel activity within the SEIU. Since the terror attack in Israel took place on Oct. 7, 2023, the union has been embroiled in multiple controversies related to the issue. 

    The union was forced to save face by firing its Connecticut executive director’s for claiming “our enemies are not in Gaza, our comrades are in Gaza.” The firing came just days after SEIU President Mary Kay Henry issued a poorly worded statement that failed to mention the deaths of over one thousand Israelis. 

    In Nov. 2023, SEIU employees even went as far as to organize a group titled, “Purple Up 4 Palestine.” This group was composed of over 500 SEIU officers and employees who openly supported the anti-semitic boycott, divestment, and sanction movement (BDS) against Israel. 

    When looking at the union’s actions over the last six months, it’s no surprise they seem to be supporting the unruly campus protests that have included antisemitism, violent behavior, and have left the areas harboring these encampments absolutely trashed


    Categories: SEIU
  3. Margaritas and Mistreated Temps

    Recently, the UAW’s Stellantis National Council held a meeting. This isn’t news, national councils do need to meet, after all. What is news is the venue they chose for it. Rather than taking a meeting close to home, Shawn Fain, Rich Boyer, the UAW’s local Stellantis officers decamped from a cold Michigan March to the Sheraton Resort and Casino in sunny Puerto Rico for a week by the beach. 

    The Sheraton Puerto Rico is a luxurious spot, offering Puerto Rico’s largest casino, an infinity pool, expensive restaurants, and even catamaran trips. As a cherry on top, it’s all just a few minutes away from the beach! It’s definitely a little expensive, but with so many nice amenities it’s easy to see why the UAW leadership would prefer it to a convention center in Michigan. There isn’t a single Stellantis manufacturing facility in Puerto Rico, but we suppose that’s not important compared to working on a good tan. 

    While the UAW-Stellantis council was soaking up the sun, UAW members with Stellantis were suffering. 

    This year, hundreds of supplemental (temporary) employees working for Stellantis have been laid off, with some estimates expecting thousands to be out of work once layoffs are finished. During the strike against the Big Three, Shawn Fain promised to “end the abuse of temps.” The UAW even bragged about how much they “won” for temps at Stellantis when trying to ratify their contract.

    Your UAW national negotiators went into this round of negotiations focused on ending the abuse of Supplemental Employees. SEs have helped make Stellantis billions, but they have not been rewarded for their work. This agreement changes that…  they will finally be put on a real path to seniority employee status. But even before gaining full-time status, SEs will receive better benefits, more rights and more respect.

    Mass layoffs are a funny way of putting temps on “a real path to seniority employee status.” 

    Perhaps UAW leadership should spend more time trying to keep their promises and less time drinking margaritas at a Puerto Rico resort. 

    Categories: UAW
  4. TV Commercial Slams SEIU for $20 Minimum Wage Hike

    Today, the Center for Union Facts released a new ad highlighting the devastating impacts of California’s new $20 minimum wage for fast food workers, which goes into effect Monday. It will run in the coming days as a television and digital ad buy in the Los Angeles and Sacramento markets.

    The tongue-in-cheek video features fast food workers “thanking” the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) for the damaging and inconsistent law, leading to higher prices, business closures, and layoffs. In fact, California restaurants are already killing jobs and cutting hours ahead of the increase.

    The SEIU was behind the bill that created the California Fast Food Council as well as the new $20 wage—a hike that continues to be championed by Gov. Gavin Newsom despite fierce opposition from impacted workers, employers, and economists. 

    The California Fast Workers Union is based in Washington, D.C., not California; it’s not a legal labor union and can’t bargain with employers; and it represents far less than one percent of the state’s fast food workforce. For more on CUF’s take on the SEIU’s fake union, read our recent OC Register op-ed here.  

    A CUF survey of California restaurant workers released in March found that the workforce isn’t aligned with the SEIU’s agenda. We asked restaurant workers what they thought of the $20 wage hike and its potential consequences. Below are some key findings:

    • 60 percent said it would lead to higher prices; 
    • 51 percent expected fewer shifts or hours scheduled;
    • 40 percent anticipated staffing cuts;
    • 39 percent predict fewer new highers.

    The SEIU alleges that restaurant employees face an abusive environment, and do not feel they are heard at their place of work. The same survey asked these workers to share their experiences working in the restaurant industry. Here’s what they had to say: 

    • 92% enjoy working at their restaurant; 
    • 76% feel that their concerns are heard; 
    • 95% feel safe at work; 
    • 88% have the tools they need to solve problems at work.
    Categories: SEIU
  5. SEIU Heir Apparent April Verrett Has History of Criticism and Controversy

    Today, the Center for Union Facts released a new report on the potential next leader of the Service Employees International Union.

    The New York Times recently noted that outgoing Service Employees International Union (SEIU) President Mary Kay Henry’s replacement could be April Verrett, a high-ranking SEIU member. Verrett has been the president of SEIU Local 2015 (2019-2022) and is the current secretary treasurer of the SEIU International (2022-present).

    But Verrett is a controversial figure even within her own union. She presided over two of the largest union staff strikes in American history and has been associated with several conflicts.

    In 2022, SEIU Local 2015 staged a strike against union leadership – notably President April Verrett – with workers complaining about management using union busting tactics and retaliating against its own employees. After the strike, several of the high-profile organizers were fired.

    In 2023, issues with Verrett and SEIU staff members seemed to follow her to the union’s headquarters in Washington D.C. Workers accused management – notably April Verrett and Mary Kay Henry – of utilizing “corporate tricks and delay tactics” to prevent negotiating with their own employees.

    Verrett’s issues were not just relegated to her own employees protesting the union, she was also implicated in hiring a disgraced union leader and was featured in a lawsuit for wrongful termination by a former employee who alleged discrimination and retaliation.

    Unfortunately, it looks like SEIU members can expect more of the same with a president like April Verrett – a hypocritical leader with a track record of promoting bad actors and condoning the same union-busting tactics she condemns companies for carrying out.

    Categories: SEIU
  6. Will Local 11 Condemn Its Ally’s Anti-Semitic Candidate?

    A key ally of Unite Here Local 11, the Democratic Socialists of America, Los Angeles (DSA-LA) recently endorsed a radical school board candidate who praised an anti-Semitic book and liked a speech that called Jews “satanic.”

    Kahllid Al-Alim, a candidate for the Los Angeles Unified School District Board and an SEIU 721 member, claimed in an Oct. 18, 2022, X post that the anti-Semitic book The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews should be “MANDATORY Reading in Community Schools.”

    The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews falsely posits that Jews played a disproportionate role in the slave trade. The book was once called the “bible of the new anti-Semitism” in the pages of the New York Times.  In 2018, Al-Alim also liked an X post of a Louis Farrakhan speech in which he calls Jews “satanic.”

    The DSA-LA previously posted a message highlighting its parent organizations support for Palestine, a post that came just one-day after the Hamas terrorist attack.

    Unite Here Local 11 has several ties to the DSA that go back years, this has included a close relationship throughout the hotel strikes in 2023 and the union’s  support for DSA-LA candidates – most notably Nithya Raman and Hugo Soto-Martinez. 

    DSA-LA started a strike fund for Local 11.

    A Unite Here Local 11 spokesperson touted the arrests of DSA members as a show of “solidarity.”

    Local 11 even allowed the DSA’s Phoenix based operation to use its headquarters for a 2024 rally promoting a speaker that posted “All Out For Palestine” just days after the horrific Hamas terrorist attack on Israel.

    Hotel workers deserve to know where Unite Here Local 11 stands on the fight against anti-Semitism and the union should issue an immediate condemnation of its ally’s endorsement of an anti-Semitic candidate. 

    Categories: UNITE HERE
  7. Are Workers Really Better Off Under the “New” UAW?

    This month, the Center for Union Facts (CUF) launched the latest phase in its ongoing national education campaign focused on the United Auto Workers (UAW).

    The campaign initially aimed to shed light on a pattern of corruption within the UAW. Now, it has expanded to scrutinize the union’s new leadership (including president Shawn Fain), controversial stances on hot-button issues, and failure to fulfill promises made to members.

    To kick off the launch, CUF released a candid video featuring Ford worker and former UAW member Terry Bowman. A proud hourly automaker in Michigan, Terry says the UAW doesn’t represent his values and doesn’t keep its promises.

    CUF placed a series of billboards next to non-unionized auto plants to spread the word about this new campaign. A mobile billboard (view creative here) also drove around the UAW headquarters in Detroit.

    The ads direct audiences to a new website,, to provide comprehensive information on Shawn Fain and other high-ranking UAW officials.

    Content highlights include insights into the UAW’s anti-Israel stance, as well as a closer look at how the UAW’s final contracts with Detroit’s Big Three automakers failed to deliver on the union’s promises.

    Categories: UAW
  8. SEIU Ceasefire Call Doesn’t Reflect Sentiments of Hundreds of Anti-Israel Union Officers, Staff

    After months of anti-Israel rhetoric from SEIU officers, employees, and affiliates, the union released a carefully worded statement condemning violence on both sides of the Israel/Palestine conflict and called for a ceasefire. 

    This recent statement is a far-cry from SEIU President Mary Kay Henry’s initial social media post that failed to condemn Hamas’ terrorist attack. This more recent statement may strike a more even tone, but it doesn’t seem to reflect the true sentiments of hundreds of SEIU leaders across the country.

    Controversy around the terrorist attack first arose at the SEIU when the union’s former Connecticut executive director – Kooper Caraway – was forced to resign after claiming “our enemies are not in Gaza, our comrades are in Gaza” just days after the murders of over 1,200 Israelis. 

    The incident with Caraway took place just as SEIU’s affiliate union – Starbucks Workers United– began to draw heat for celebrating the attacks on social media. 

    As the war continued, anti-Israel sentiment at the SEIU kept building. A month following the terrorist attack, more than 500 officers and employees of the SEIU came together under a petition titled “Purple Up 4 Palestine” to demand the union call for President Joe Biden to stop arming Israel and to begin supporting the anti-semitic boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement (BDS). 

    One of the most notable names to show up on the list is Larry Alcoff, the SEIU’s lead negotiator. Alcoff appeared at a Palestinian rally in New York on Oct. 28, 2023, with his wife and son (Larry’s son, Joseph, is a known communist and Antifa leader). His wife was wearing a sticker that read, “Zionist donors and trustees, hands off our universities.”

    Unfortunately, the anti-Israel attitude of SEIU officials is not just relegated to the East Coast.

    In California, John Beynon — who is listed as an officer of SEIU Local 1983 on the petition — retweeted accounts accusing Israel of genocide and has even re-posted a BDS account that called Hamas terrorists the “armed resistance.”

    Jonah Paul — a self-described officer of the SEIU 1000 out of California — also defended the Palestinian cause in the wake of the Hamas terrorist attack. Paul vocally critiqued an X Post for calling out Hamas terrorism and claimed that he is an advocate of a “free Palestine” and not just when “it is convenient.”

    Purple up 4 Palestine also has an official Instagram account where slogans like “Stand Against Genocide” and “Hands off Yemen” are routinely used. The account is followed by the official Instagram pages for the SEIU Local 140 (SEIU 503, Portland), SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, Nurse Alliance of SEIU California, and SEIU Local 121RN (Southern California). 


    Despite the national union’s recent call for peace, the mounting evidence showing the SEIU has routinely sided against Israel since the early days of the terrorist attacks is damning.  

    Categories: SEIU