Big Labor Spent $1.7 Billion on Electioneering & Lobbying in 2011-2012

2011-2012-Political6web(Labor Day Press Release)

Big Labor turns focus further from “workplace representation” to electioneering

(Washington, DC) – The National Institute for Labor Relations Research (NILRR) has released a new analysis outlining Big Labor’s political spending for the last election cycle.

Using data compiled from U.S. Department of Labor union financial disclosure (LM-2) forms, Political Action Committee (PAC) filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), 527 group reports to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and state campaign finance reports, NILRR researchers conservatively estimate that unions spent an estimated $1.7 billion on electioneering and lobbying during the 2012 election cycle.

Based on the cautious methods used to determine Big Labor’s political spending, NILRR’s researchers conclude that “on balance… the aggregate $1.7 billion in political and lobbying expenditures by labor unions in the 2012 election cycle reported here is undoubtedly an understatement.”

Big Labor’s $1.7 billion in political spending for 2011-2012 outpaces its estimated 2009-2010 total of $1.4 billion.

“Despite their steadily declining membership, union officials are steadily increasing the amount of money they spend on politics to protect and expand their government-granted power to force workers into dues-paying union ranks,” said Stan Greer, senior research associate at NILRR. “The numbers show that Big Labor is turning its focus further from workplace representation and more and more toward electioneering.”


The National Institute for Labor Relations Research (NILRR) is a research facility for the general public, scholars and students. It provides the supplementary analysis and research necessary to expose the inequities of compulsory unionism.