The Wall Street Journal reports today:

As recently as 2000, the [AFL-CIO’s] 8.5 million members had a $45 million surplus. By June of last year it had $90.6 million in liabilities, or $2.3 million more than its $88.3 million in assets. … As for the SEIU, as recently as 2002 total SEIU liabilities were about $8 million. According to its 2008 disclosure form, the union owed more than $156 million, a 30% increase over the $120 million it owed in 2007. Its liabilities now equal more than 80% of its $189 million in assets.

The Washington Examiner reported yesterday:

Almost half of the nation’s 20 largest unions have pension funds that federal law classifies as “endangered” or in “critical” condition due to being underfunded, an Examiner review of federal actuarial reports shows. … The average union pension has resources to cover only 62 percent of what is owed to participants, according to the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC). Less than one in every 160 workers is covered by a union pension with required assets.

Unions sap the economic vitality out of every firm they unionize, which is the real reason only 7.6% of private sector workers are unionized. Government, on the other hand, can never go out of business. That is where unionization has exploded over the last 25 years. 36.8% of public sector workers are also union members. But the growth of public sector unions is just not fast enough to cover the pension obligations and operating losses of big labor. They need more young members at the bottom of the pyramid. Huge operating deficits and runaway pension fund liabilities: these are the real driving forces behind big labor’s push to pass the Employee Free Choice Act.