Taking Our Financial Pulse

Financial Vice-President's Report

Volume CV, No. 12December, 2005

Jay Blumenthal

If thoughts of balance sheets, profit and loss statements and revenues versus liabilities tend to make your eyes glaze over, you should know that these items allow all Local 802 members to keep a finger on the financial pulse of the union. Let’s face it, while solidarity and spirit are essential elements of a strong union, it’s money that gives us the ability to pursue grievances, file arbitrations, run a meaningful public relations campaign, service our membership, retain legal counsel and organize both internally and externally. Without money we would not have the means to effectively pursue the active agenda this administration has laid out for our membership.

The officers are very much aware that every dollar we spend comes out of the pockets of our members — your pocket. We take this responsibility very seriously and monitor spending closely with a concerted effort to make every dollar count toward furthering the goals of Local 802 and the broader labor movement.

Our financial goals are decidedly different from those of traditional businesses. We do not exist primarily to make a profit. The dues we receive are spent to service the members and strengthen our position at the bargaining table. The ultimate goal of our spending is to improve our contracts and in so doing create a better quality of life for our members and their families.

But let us not forget that we are part of a broader labor movement — a movement that currently is struggling to survive. It is in our interest to do all that we can to reverse the current trend toward a weaker labor movement, because a weak labor movement hurts us all. When our ability to have a strong and effective voice in our workplace is diminished, we all lose.

This assault on democracy in our workplace is a threat to democracy everywhere. Our country is predicated on a system requiring checks and balances. For years there had been a healthy balance between business and labor but unfortunately this delicate balance is under serious attack. This is our fight.

Whenever there is a weakening of the labor laws that protect us, whenever we perceive injustice and are prevented from acting collectively, whenever big business or government diminishes an individual’s rights, democracy is weakened. As a labor union it is our fight to help restore balance. This fight takes resources.

Sound financial advice would caution one to never invest in anything you don’t understand fully. So I hope you will take a moment to scrutinize the financial report presented in this issue of Allegro. This is your money and you have a right to know and understand how it is being spent. Your dues are an investment in the future for you and your family.

Just as you look over your personal finances, each financial statement in Allegro is there for you to examine. Full transparency is our goal.

If there is something you don’t understand, something you would like to know more about, or if you simply have questions, please call me at (212) 245-4802, ext. 105 or send me an e-mail at