United Way Chief: ‘Please Support Your AFL-CIO’

Brian Gallagher Prods Charity Workers to Assist Union Lobbyists

United Way Worldwide President Brian Gallagher thinks it's a good idea for United Way locals to divert charitable donors' money into Big Labor's lobbying campaign for another round of federal "stimulus" spending. Credit: United Way of America
(Source:  November-December 2011 National Right to Work Committee Newsletter)

For nearly four decades, the National Right to Work Committee has been warning charitable donors that the United Way of America (UWA) was diverting millions of their dollars to AFL-CIO union-boss slush funds.

Now such abuses of charitable donations appear to be worse than ever at the United Way Worldwide (UWW), the successor group that came into being in 2009 when the UWA merged with the United Way International.

Documents made publicly available by the UWW and AFL-CIO affiliates indicate that today local United Ways bloat their payrolls by employing more than 160 full-time union operatives, known as “AFL-CIO community service liaisons,” across the country.

And the UWW also openly acknowledges using donors’ money to recruit, “train and help place members of organized labor on the decision-making bodies of health and human-service organizations.”

Moreover, the UWW and many of its affiliates have long operated and continue to operate under “memoranda of understanding” with the AFL-CIO in which they agree to discriminate against goods, services and suppliers that don’t wear the union label.

Many United Way Donors Have Resisted Discriminatory United Way Policies

In 1974, the Committee exposed the discriminatory “Cooperative Memorandum of Understanding Between the United Way and the AFL-CIO” that was then in effect.

Many United Way donors were outraged that contributions intended to aid worthy civic and charitable causes were instead going to enrich Big Labor. They put enormous pressure on the UWA to change its policies.

Unfortunately, only cosmetic changes ensued, and the AFL-CIO hierarchy and the UWW remain “close partners,” as UWW President Brian Gallagher unabashedly put it in a letter this fall distributed to leaders of United Way locals nationwide.

“Any charity has a duty to its donors to get the best price it can on goods and services that meet its needs, without imposing unneeded and discriminatory conditions on suppliers,” said Committee Vice President Mary King.

“The UWW policy, however, tilts the scales against goods and services produced by the vast majority of private-sector workers, who neither belong nor wish to belong to a union.

“The UWW is letting AFL-CIO bosses use contributions intended to help the less fortunate for union-machine organizing.”

On November 13, Mr. Gallagher brought the decades-old “partnership” between his group and top union bosses to a whole new level when he sent out a nationwide letter to United Way local staff urging them to team up with union officials in their area as they lobby for the AFL-CIO’s so-called “jobs agenda.”

Brian Gallagher: UWW, AFL-CIO Elite Are ‘Working Towards the Same Goal’

“Please support your AFL-CIO,” wrote Mr. Gallagher, as it seeks to ram through the U.S. Senate and House a package of so-called “stimulus” legislation that is eerily similar to the failed “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act” (ARRA) rubber-stamped by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama in 2009.

As many Newsletter readers know, after ARRA became law, it bilked taxpayers out of hundreds of billions of dollars to ensure that bloated, unionized government payrolls stayed bloated, but furnished no detectable net benefit for America’s private sector.

In his letter, Mr. Gallagher explained his exhortation that UWW staff should help union lobbyists foist another round of massively expensive and futile “stimulus” on America: The UWW and the AFL-CIO elite are “working towards the same goal.”

Your Letter to UWW Needed

Ms. King commented: “Sadly, despite the National Right to Work Committee’s persistent efforts over the years to put a spotlight on unfortunate ‘sweetheart’ deals between United Way executives and union kingpins, many well-intentioned charitable donors clearly remain unaware of the problem.”

She vowed that the Committee would continue to work to inform more and more pro-Right to Work charitable donors about Big Labor infiltration of the UWW and many of its locals.

Ms. King also encouraged members to write Mr. Gallagher and urge him to change course. He can be reached at United Way Worldwide, 701 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria, Va. 22314.