Union bosses known for bashing the rich are often millionaires themselves, paid with dues taken from workers’ paychecks.
Laborers’ International Union of North America president Terry O’Sullivan, who was paid $670,403 in 2014, slammed Charles and David Koch and other critics of big government in a speech last July.
“Today’s Republican party has been hijacked, poisoned and taken over by a bunch of Tea Party maggots,” O’Sullivan shouted. “These anti-union, anti-worker bastards are not only crazy, they’re mean!”
When it comes to taking a huge paycheck from workers he claims to protect, O’Sullivan is in good company. Leaders of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, the International Association of Machinists and other powerful unions have done the same for years.
America’s union membership rate is in the midst of a decades-long decline, but labor union officials always seem to get paid. In 2013, 472 union officers and employees were paid more than $250,000 each.
Excluding the MLB Players Association and other unions representing professional athletes, 497 union officers and employees were paid more than $250,000 last year — not a bad haul for representatives of teachers, blue-collar workers and government employees.
Outside of the pro sports unions, 19 union bosses were paid more than $500,000 in 2014.
Some of the country’s top union officials work for specialized unions such as the Independent Pilots Association, and they represent predominantly high-income workers. Most do not.
In addition to O’Sullivan, the Laborers’ union paid 42 officers and employees more than $250,000 in 2014. How many officers and employees were paid more than $250,000 by the other construction unions?
- United Association of Plumbers & Pipefitters: 56 union officers and employees paid more than $250,000 in 2014
- International Union of Operating Engineers: 34
- United Brotherhood of Carpenters: 28
- International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers: 15
- International Association of Machinists: 14
- International Union of Painters & Allied Trades: 10
Outside of the construction industry, several other major unions paid more than 10 officers and employees more than a quarter-million dollars each in 2014.
United Food & Commercial Workers paid 40 union officials more than $250,000, International Longshoremen’s Association paid 17 officers and employees more than $250,000, and Transportation Communications Union paid 12 officers and employees more than $250,000.
America’s four largest unions — the National Education Association, Service Employees International Union, American Federation of Teachers and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees — take taxpayer money from the paychecks of teachers and other public workers.
AFSCME paid 19 union officers and employees more than $250,000 last year. NEA had 10 officers and employees paid more than $250,000 each, while AFT had seven and SEIU had two.
In some cases, local union officials were paid even more than their national union counterparts.
AFSCME Local 3930 in San Diego paid finance director Gary Voice $680,721. UFCW Local 464 in New Jersey paid president John Niccollai $579,828.
In California, New Jersey and the 23 other states without right-to-work laws, workers can be forced to pay union bosses to have a job.
A list of America’s 100 highest-paid union bosses, filtered to exclude professional athletes’ unions, is included below. Payroll data come from the unions’ 2014 annual reports to the U.S. Department of Labor.
|Name||Total Pay, 2014||Union|
|William Trent||$1,132,607||Independent Pilot Association|
|Donald Moak||$825,539||Air Line Pilots Assoc. AFL-CIO|
|Jay Roth||$824,475||Directors Guild Of America Inc|
|Ed Power||$697,714||Boilermakers AFL-CIO|
|Gary Voice||$680,721||State County & Muni Empls AFL-CIO Local Union 3930|
|Newton Jones||$639,034||Boilermakers AFL-CIO|
|David P. White||$586,079||SAG-AFTRA|
|John Niccollai||$579,828||Food & Commercial Wkrs Local Union 464|
|Peter Hasho||$574,501||Int’l Brotherhood Of Trade Unions|
|Robert Scardelletti||$564,194||Transportation Communications Union/Iam, AFL-CIO|
|Rhonda Weingarten||$557,875||Teachers AFL-CIO|
|William Mcdonough||$544,137||Food & Commercial Wkrs|
|Dennis Van Roekel||$541,632||National Education Assoc.|
|William Hite||$522,988||Plumbers AFL-CIO|
|Harold Daggett||$515,901||Longshoremens Assoc. AFL-CIO|
|David Young||$512,026||Writers Guild West|
|Joseph Maloney||$501,392||Boilermakers AFL-CIO|
|Jonathan Cohen||$498,255||Air Line Pilots Assoc. AFL-CIO|
|T Warren Fairley, Jr.||$493,007||Boilermakers AFL-CIO|
|Bruce York||$489,852||Air Line Pilots Assoc. AFL-CIO|
|Kelly Richardson||$489,330||Air Traffic Controllers AFL-CIO|
|James Callahan||$488,377||Engineers, Operating, AFL-CIO|
|J Tom Baca||$483,779||Boilermakers AFL-CIO|
|Joseph Nigro||$479,268||Sheet Metal, Air, Rail And Transportation Workers|
|Lori Ames||$467,010||United Service Workers Union, IUJAT|
|Edward Byrne Sr||$462,057||United Service Workers Union, IUJAT|
|Matthew Loeb||$459,616||Stage & Picture Operators AFL-CIO|
|Joseph Sellers||$459,184||Sheet Metal, Air, Rail And Transportation Workers|
|Douglas J Mccarron||$455,102||Carpenters|
|Stephen Knott||$452,565||Longshoremens Assoc. AFL-CIO|
|Richard Johnson||$449,716||Transportation Communications Union/Iam, AFL-CIO|
|Benny Holland Jr||$440,759||Longshoremens Assoc. AFL-CIO|
|Lori Garver||$438,167||Air Line Pilots Assoc. AFL-CIO|
|Jean Bruny||$435,845||Food & Commercial Wkrs Local Union 888|
|William Roberts||$435,377||Air Line Pilots Assoc. AFL-CIO|
|Mark Mcmanus||$434,735||Plumbers AFL-CIO|
|Paul Rinaldi||$428,408||Air Traffic Controllers AFL-CIO|
|Lawrence Mcmanamon||$420,733||Boilermakers AFL-CIO|
|Stephen Kelly||$420,552||Plumbers AFL-CIO|
|Frank Bail||$420,206||Retail Wholesale, Dc, Ufcw Local Union 1102|
|Edwin Hill||$418,478||Electrical Workers Ibew AFL-CIO|
|Kenneth Rigmaiden||$417,540||Painters AFL-CIO|
|John Previsich||$414,408||Sheet Metal, Air, Rail And Transportation Workers|
|Betty Ginsburg||$413,301||Air Line Pilots Assoc. AFL-CIO|
|John Stocks||$412,398||National Education Assoc.|
|Sean Mcgarvey||$411,878||Bldg & Constrn Trades Dept AFL-CIO|
|Jim Johnson||$408,313||Air Line Pilots Assoc. AFL-CIO|
|Walter Wise||$408,257||Iron Workers AFL-CIO|
|James Grogan||$406,623||Insulators AFL-CIO|
|Phil Barbarello||$405,532||Air Traffic Controllers AFL-CIO|
|Ana Mcahron-Schulz||$402,568||Air Line Pilots Assoc. AFL-CIO|
|John Telford||$396,371||Plumbers AFL-CIO|
|Andris J Silins||$393,009||Carpenters|
|Frank Hanley||$390,553||Food & Commercial Wkrs Local Union 464|
|William Creeden||$390,259||Boilermakers AFL-CIO|
|Ron Kutak||$387,410||Stage & Picture Operators AFL-CIO Local Union 700|
|Patrick Finley||$386,357||Plasterers & Cement Masons AFL-CIO|
|Joel Parker||$386,184||Transportation Communications Union/Iam, AFL-CIO|
|Salvatore Chilia||$384,120||Electrical Workers Ibew AFL-CIO|
|Tyler Brown||$383,826||Boilermakers AFL-CIO|
|John Baker||$379,569||Longshoremens Assoc. AFL-CIO|
|Liz Koby||$377,328||Air Line Pilots Assoc. AFL-CIO|
|Thomas Bethel||$376,671||American Maritime Officers, SIUNA|
|Thomas Callahan||$376,625||Engineers, Operating, AFL-CIO Local Union 15|
|Keith Hagy||$375,542||Air Line Pilots Assoc. AFL-CIO|
|Michael Robbins||$374,425||Air Line Pilots Assoc. AFL-CIO|
|Linda Canan Stephens||$371,390||State County & Muni Empls AFL-CIO|
|Larry Cann||$371,236||Plumbers AFL-CIO|
|Gerald Owens||$370,212||Longshoremens Assoc. AFL-CIO|
|Murray Morrissey||$367,740||Retail Wholesale, Dc, Ufcw Local Union 338|
|David Krieger||$367,433||Air Line Pilots Assoc. AFL-CIO|
|Joseph Senese||$367,314||National Production Wkrs Union|
|Liberato Naimoli||$365,588||Laborers Local Union 76|
|Russell Hollander||$363,192||Directors Guild Of America Inc|
|Joseph Hansen||$362,814||Food & Commercial Wkrs|
|Patricia Gilbert||$362,165||Air Traffic Controllers AFL-CIO|
|James Mccourt||$360,739||Insulators AFL-CIO|
|William Hopkins||$359,653||Food & Commercial Wkrs Local Union 455|
|Jeffrey Small||$356,529||Air Line Pilots Assoc. AFL-CIO|
|Ralph Cole||$355,722||Laborers District Council|
|Richard Whalen||$354,266||Food & Commercial Wkrs Local Union 464|
|David Dale Haggerty, Jr.||$354,236||Boilermakers AFL-CIO|
|Lillian Roberts||$352,341||State County & Muni Empls AFL-CIO District Council 37|
|Lorretta Johnson||$352,307||Teachers AFL-CIO|
|Kinsey Robinson||$352,302||Roofers AFL-CIO|
|Earl Hurd||$351,928||Plasterers & Cement Masons AFL-CIO|