While President Obama is always eager to stress income inequality in America, he need look no further than the unions that support him as a new study shows hundreds of labor bosses earned more than a quarter of a million dollars in 2012.
“A total of 428 American labor union officers and employees were paid more than $250,000 in 2012, in stark contrast to union propaganda expressing solidarity with ‘the middle class,’” according to Media Trackers.
When we think of labor unions, the thought of blue collar workers punching the clock to make ends meet comes to mind, but Media Trackers found that the top 100 highest paid union bosses made over $52 million in 2012.
Of these 100 union officials, 28 were paid over $500,000 — salaries paid by membership dues of the laborers and government employees they represent.
While these officials are paid quite well, the gap between the highest-paid and lowest-paid union employees continues to grow, according to the Washington Times.
The report shows the earnings of the rank-and-file workers toiling in factories and construction sites that the union officers represent pale in comparison with the top officials paid to represent them. An analysis of union disclosures by the Times showed:
In 2000, the bottom quarter of full-time employees at union offices… made less than $33,900, while the top quarter made more than $65,400.
Among reports for fiscal 2012 submitted so far, the bottom quarter made $49,700 compared with $103,100 for the top quarter.
The highest paid union official in 2012 not aligned with professional athletes was Gerald W. “Jerry” McEntee, the former president of the 1.6 million-member American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees – his total pay equaled $1,121,988.
The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers president Newton Jones’ total pay was $729,630. In fact, two other bosses at the union were also paid over $500,000, and five others were paid over $400,000.
And the Times reported that Boilermakers Local 154 raised its dues from 4 percent to 7 percent of wages over the past five years.
So the next time a Democrat talks about income inequality, ask them where they stand on the salaries of fat cat union bosses.
Or point out that the federal government has emerged as one of the most potent factors driving income inequality in this country. According to Reuters, the top 5 percent of households in Washington, D.C., made over $500,000 on average last year, while the bottom 20 percent earned less than $9,500 – a ratio of 54 to 1.