Working America

Working America is a worker center for non-unionized employees organized by the nation’s largest federation of unions, the AFL-CIO. The group claims to have as many as 3.2 million members, but not all pay the group’s dues, which are as low as $5 per year, according to a report in The Nation.

Much of Working America’s activity is political, involving canvassing on behalf of its parent’s causes and candidates. The group also has a website dedicated to compiling workplace complaints and organizing collective actions in unorganized workplaces.

AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka has expressed hope that Working America-related activity will lay the groundwork for future unionization of the group’s membership. The AFL-CIO and its member unions have invested heavily in Working America: Unions poured over $12 million into Working America in 2012, according to Department of Labor filings.

Working America Executive Director Karen Nussbaum is paid by AFL-CIO headquarters to the tune of $139,998, according to the AFL-CIO’s 2012 federal filings. Working America’s most recent available tax return (2011) showed that the group paid Nussbaum nothing from its own treasury. The operations of Working America, including its Director’s salary, are heavily subsidized by members’ dues.