The AFL-CIO has unveiled a new "Executive Pay Watch" Web site. Yahoo! News reports on it without making any mention of the salaries of the labor union executives. Bloomberg News does slightly better, mentioning AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka's $283,340 annual compensation and Service Employees International Union President Mary Kay Henry's $253,660 annual compensation. But those are among the less well-paid union leaders. What about the president of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Gerald McEntee, who federal records show was paid $555,367 in total compensation in 2010, a fact that, outrageously, was omitted from a recent interview/profile of Mr. McEntee by the New York Times' longtime labor reporter, Steven Greenhouse? Or Mr. McEntee's secretary-treasurer at AFSCME, William Lucy, who made $847,810 from the union? What about Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, whose compensation for 2010 was more than $600,000?
For better or worse, this is what labor-management conflict or the executive pay "debate" has come down to in America in 2011 — labor union leaders earning $600,000 or $850,000 a year complaining that the corporate executives making $10 million a year are overpaid.