October 2008 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News
Department of Labor changes union reporting rules
By PAUL TUCKER
REGION, October 2nd- The United States Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) has issued their final rule that enhances financial reporting and provides union members with more complete information about finances held in union trusts.
The final rule, issued under the authority of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA), which was implemented in 1959, further implements the agency’s goal of securing the right of labor union members to have information about union finances and expenditures. The final rule will be published in the Federal Register in the near future.
According to information provided by the DOL, union trusts are established and maintained primarily to provide benefits to union members and their beneficiaries, and common examples include credit unions, strike funds, redevelopment or investment groups, training funds, apprenticeship programs, building funds and educational funds.
The new rule will provide information to union members and the public about these types of trusts, for which there is currently little, if any, financial disclosure. Under the rule, unions will be required to annually file a new form, “T-1,” for trusts in which a union, alone or in combination with other unions, possesses managerial control or financial dominance.
Form T-1 will use the same basic template as the existing Form LM-2, which has been in effect since January 2004, and unions have experience with filing, the DOL stated.
The OLMS have also limited the burden on smaller unions that are unlikely to have significant funds in LMRDA covered trusts. Only labor unions with total annual receipts of $250,000 or more will need to file a Form T-1.
Additionally, labor unions will not be required to file a Form T-1 on trusts subject to certain other disclosure requirements.
OLMS is the federal law enforcement agency responsible for administering most provisions of the LMRDA.