Beginning today, Mondays are dedicated to miscellaneous topics/updates that do not necessarily warrant a full day to themselves, but nonetheless are newsworthy.
In the final hours of the Bush Administration, he toughened standards to require most unions to publicly report nearly all compensation and expenses for officers and employees. Officially, the U.S. Dept. of Labor’s Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) announced that on January 21, 2009, a final regulation will be published to update the Form LM-2 consistent with President Bush’s directive.
Since fiscal year 2001 (when Bush became President), OLMS investigations have yielded a total of 1,004 indictments with 929 convictions and court-ordered restitution of more than $93 million. The Deputy Assistant Secretary for Labor-Management Standards, Don Todd, said: “We are confident that the changes we are making will both discourage embezzlement of union members’ money and make such embezzlement harder to hide.”
The OLMS’ public disclosure webpage is www.unionreports.gov and contains annual financial reports and additional reports required to be filed by the LMRDA. Other information, including synopses of OLMS enforcement actions are available at OLMS’ home page at www.olms.dol.gov.
President Obama’s first official act was to freeze all proposed federal rules changes left unfinished by Bush’s administration which included the change to the LM-2s. Thus, Obama killed the increased financial reporting requirements. Earlier, I reported that Obama plans on changing the LM-2 requirement, but no one knows to what extent (and now we can assume not to the extent that Bush did). I followed that up with commenting on Michelle Malkin’s great expose of the UAW’s LM-2 and how the UAW wastes its members’ money. And I will continue to follow this hot-button issue as it progresses through the Obama Administration.
On a similar note, two union employees face jail time for blowing tens of thousands of embezzled dollars from the Laborer’s Union Local 500, a construction union. Isn’t it easier to understand why Unions don’t want LM-2s to be public or contain “too much” information?