You are here

Labor and Occupy: Comrades in Arms

The Washington Examiner is reporting that the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is helping Occupy DC become a "more permanent fixture" of the Washington, D.C., landscape by moving the anti-freedom agitators into cozy offices in the heart of the nation's capital. And as usual where "occupiers" are concerned, there is no shortage of hypocrisy to be found:

The Service Employees International Union, one of Obama's most vocal supporters among labor groups, is paying $4,000 a month for three offices the Occupy protesters will use for at least the next six months to plan future demonstrations, organize and host workshops.

The offices are at the Institute for Policy Studies, a nonprofit progressive group headquartered at 16th and L streets NW, amid the major law firms, trade groups and lobbying shops that Occupiers have spent the past seven months denouncing. The offices are just a short distance from the tent city Occupy DC established in McPherson Square in October.

Occupiers moved into their new digs Monday. The SEIU will pay the rent for six months, said John Cavanagh, director of the Institute for Policy Studies.

Six months. Hmmm...that would take us right up to the November election, though of course the "occupiers" insist they are not there to help re-elect President Obama, in spite of their benefactors at the SEIU being among Obama's most enthusiastic boosters. But never mind that -- what is beyond dispute is that Big Labor, Occupy, and the Obama White House share an animosity toward those who amass "too much" wealth, the so-called and much maligned  "1 percent."

How ironic, then, that labor bosses can be counted among that dreaded category. Take AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who has been exposing the alleged exorbitant salaries of various CEOs with his organization's new website Executive PayWatch. According to the Washington Free BeaconTrumka explained in an email to supporters:

Runaway CEO pay isn’t just bad for our economy, it’s bad for the morale of working families, too. All workers, from the executive suite down to the shop floor, contribute to making a company successful. But these corporations are buying into the myth that the success of a corporation is the result of its CEO alone.

But after stirring up all this hatred for the wealthy, Trumka may have  a hard time explaining his own “runaway pay.” Trumka earned $293,750 in 2011 alone, and in fact, as the Beacon reports, “has earned well over $200,000 every year since he was promoted to Secretary Treasurer [of the union] in 2003.”

Sounds like a 1-percenter to me. Time for Occupy AFL-CIO?