FROM DC: Obama's labor secretary lets union officials off transparency hook 

Never mind about those revised union financial disclosure requirements President Obama inherited from his predecessor. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis now says she won’t make union officials comply.

Unions officials complained for eight years that regulations issued by Elaine Chao, President George W. Bush’s Labor Secretary, were more rigorous than required by the Labor Management and Reporting Disclosure Act (LMRDA), which calls for modestly detailed annual financial reports by unions with receipts of $250,000 or more.
The Bush-Chao regulations require union officials to disclose financial information that could aid union members’ seeking information on how their union leaders are spending dues money, and to help expose “no show jobs” that put paychecks for ghost employees into union coffers.
Before Bush took office, the reports were mostly ignored by the Labor Department. Now, it’s back to business-as-usual. A notice appeared this week on the department’s web site saying the Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS), whose main job is enforcing LMRDA requirements, won’t be doing its job under Solis:
“Accordingly, OLMS will refrain from initiating enforcement actions against union officers and union employees based solely on the failure to file the report required by section 202 of the Labor-Management and Reporting Disclosure Act (LMRDA), 29 U.S.C. § 432, using the 2007 form, as long as individuals meet their statutorily-required filing obligation in some manner. OLMS will accept either the old Form LM-30 or the new one for purposes of this non-enforcement policy.”
Now that Obama-Solis are giving union officials a choice between the old and new forms, can you guess which one they will choose?

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Kevin Mooney

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