“Burdensome” Union Transparency Reforms to be Repealed?

Apparently, the Obama Administration thinks the transparency requirements for labor union leadership are too stringent:

John Lund, the newly appointed deputy secretary in the Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS), told The Examiner that Obama Administration officials will conduct a thorough review of financial disclosure requirements in response to complaints from labor officials that Bush-era reforms are too burdensome.
Under former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, union officers had to account for all of their compensation benefits on LM-2 disclosure forms. These reports helped to create “red flags” that would alert investigators of possible embezzlement activity, according to Bush administration officials.
Chao also modified the LM-30 forms so that shop stewards would be required to report information needed to expose “no show jobs” in which paychecks go into union coffers instead of a real worker’s bank account.
“Elaine Chao made an effort to hold the union leadership accountable to its members, [Rep. John Kline, R-MN] said. “So it’s not surprising to find that with the change in administration the union leadership does not want to have these records. But if I were a union worker I’d want the OLMS office beefed up so someone was holding labor officials accountable….Labor union political action committees (PACs) donated over $66 million to members of Congress in the 2008 election cycle, with 92 percent of the money going to Democrats, according to OpenSecrets.org.

Yes, it’s not like there wasn’t anything to find:

Since 2001, over 900 union officials have been convicted on embezzlement, fraud and conspiracy charges {more here – ed.} and courts have ordered $88,280,099 in restitution to be paid to defrauded unions and other parties investigated by OLMS, according to DOL….”We are not just talking about someone at say the headquarters for the AFL-CIO or the Teamsters because these are locals all over the country, where people are taking money and it’s very widespread, [Kline] said. “These disclosure forms exist to protect the union members. It does not seem to resonate that this kind of activity exists.”
Although congressional Democrats posture as advocates for union workers, they are in reality doing the bidding of labor bosses who continue to resist heightened accountability and transparency standards, he said.
“When you hear rhetoric and talk from the Democratic side of the aisle about how they are in favor of labor and workers, what they are really talking about is the union leadership,” Kline said. “I think this is underscored by the cut in funding for the only office that has the job of keeping an eye on union leadership and by legislation that takes away the secret ballot and puts in binding arbitration.

I wonder if things like corruption in Chicago-area unions have anything to do with it? Carl Horowitz of the National Legal and Policy Institute thinks so.

It’s no secret many union pension funds lack the funds sufficient to cover their liabilities. And a major reason lies with the gullibility, and on due occasion dishonesty, of their fiduciaries. Major case in point: the theft of tens of millions of dollars from pension plans sponsored by six unions and entrusted to Chicago-based equity fund manager John Orecchio. On July 22, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois filed an information count against Orecchio, charging him with embezzling approximately $24 million from his clients. The action, which follows a similar Securities & Exchange Commission complaint of nearly three years ago, provides a window into the overlapping worlds of high finance and organized labor. It also should serve as a reminder to the see-no-evil, hear-no-evil Obama Labor Department that union members have a right to maximum transparency as to how their dues and retirement contributions are being spent.

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Tom W
Tom W
11 years ago

Labor unions? Corruption? Who knew?
Imagine the legacy media’s righteous indignation if a Republican administration sought to water down financial disclosure requirements for corporations.
Yet there is silence when a Democrat administration does it for the labor bosses, whose “revenue” is derived from compulsory, forced dues from workers.
No double-standard there!
Speaking of “weze don’t need no stinkin’ financial transparency” department, you gotta love those Teamsters thugs – haven’t changed a bit:
UPS Employees Say They Were Forced to Lobby Against FedEx – Washington Post – August 7, 2009

11 years ago

When hearing union bosses bashing greedy corporate bosses, one might with to refer to 1-888-NO-UNION.COM’s page on union indictments.
There’s five year’s worth (and HUNDREDS) of union indictments listed.
View the here: http://www.1-888-no-union.com/unionindictments.html

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