- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 5, 2002

Financial reports from labor unions posted on the Internet for the first time this week by the Labor Department show all major union leaders earning six-figure salaries.
Although the leaders are paid much more than the rank-and-file members, the unions say the salaries are reasonable for large organizations.
"We think the pay our officers receive is commensurate with other organizations of our size and influence," said Jamie Horwitz, spokesman for the American Federation of Teachers.
The union's president, Sandra Feldman, was among the highest-paid labor leaders. She earned a $337,282 salary in 2000 that jumped to $523,090 when allowances and business expenses were added, according to the union's annual financial report to the Labor Department. Part of the compensation included reimbursement for commuting costs and the expense of maintaining a second home in Washington. She is from New York City.
Her pay compares with the average $51,955 a year earned in 2001 by a big-city schoolteacher with a master's degree at top scale, according to the union's Web site. The union includes 1.2 million members.
The unions say their leaders' salary is nothing compared with salaries paid top corporate executives.
"The wages are set by our constitution,"said Teamsters spokesman Bret Caldwell. "There's no way they're disproportionate compared to some of these high corporate salaries we're used to seeing."
Teamsters President James P. Hoffa was paid $228,713 in 2000. Allowances and disbursements increased the figure to $262,200. The Teamsters reported 1.4 million members.
That compares with the $107 million paid in 2000 to L. Dennis Kozlwoski, former chief executive officer of Tyco International, which included base salary, bonus, stock options and other disbursements. As the recession took a bite out of the company's earnings last year, Mr. Kozlowski had to settle for $62 million in 2001.
Mr. Kozlowski resigned from Tyco on Monday and was indicted yesterday in New York for tax evasion.
The former chairman and chief executive of United Parcel Service was paid a $1.1 million base salary in 2001 before retirement. The Teamsters are negotiating with UPS for a new contract. James P. Kelly, who retired from UPS in January, also was paid $462,600 in bonuses and $53,967 in other compensation.
Mr. Hoffa was at the UPS distribution center in Fairfax yesterday to kick off a nationwide petition campaign seeking support for the Teamsters effort to win concessions in their current negotiations. The Teamsters' five-year contract with UPS expires July 31.
The 230,000 unionized UPS workers that belong to the Teamsters voted overwhelmingly last month to authorize a strike if the negotiations fail. This week, negotiators are discussing job security issues. Next week, they plan to discuss wages and health care. A two-week strike in 1997 cost UPS $750 million.
Similar rallies were held at more than 200 other UPS facilities, including in Chicago, Boston, Louisville, Ky., and Atlanta, where UPS is headquartered.
In another labor dispute yesterday, Hershey Foods Inc. restarted production at one of its closed candy plants with nonunion workers after striking union members refused to accept a contract that would increase their health care costs. Negotiations to end the five-week strike at two plants broke off yesterday.
The Hershey, Pa., company is the nation's largest candy maker. About 2,800 of its workers are members of Chocolate Workers Local 464.
Labor Department officials said the posting of the union leaders' salaries on the Internet was not intended to embarrass them, merely to publish public information.
Unions are required to file financial reports annually with the Labor Department. That information, including union bylaws and constitutions, always has been available to the public, though not as readily. Access required a trip to a public disclosure room in the agency or to one of its field offices and payment of a fee for copies.
"Our job is to have that information available to the public," said Sue Hinsley, Labor Department spokeswoman. "It's just a way to make it more accessible."
The Bush administration has made available online financial reports for 2000 and later, which are free and searchable by union name, file number, affiliation or location. Users also can conduct searches for union officers and employees. Reports filed before 2000 are available at the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.
This article is based in part on wire-service reports.


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