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November 4, 2008    DOL Home > Newsroom > News Releases   

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ESA News Release: [05/09/2008]
Contact Name: Loren Smith or Richard Manning
Phone Number: (202) 693-4676
Release Number: 08-0642-NAT

U.S. Labor Department announces enhanced union transparency rules

Revisions designed to better protect union members’ right-to-know

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor will issue a notice of proposed rulemaking on May 12 to enhance union financial transparency. The proposed rule, issued under the authority of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA), protects the rights of labor union members to have meaningful information about union finances and expenditures.

The proposed rule would revise certain aspects of the Form LM-2, which is filed by about 4,600 unions with annual receipts of at least $250,000. The proposal also implements a longstanding provision of the LMRDA to require unions that ordinarily file a simplified report to instead file the more detailed LM-2 if they violate their legal obligations. The public comment period will begin with publication of the proposed rule on Monday, May 12, and will last for 45 days.

Changes being proposed include disclosing the amount spent on benefits for individual union officers and certain union employees, reporting indirect disbursements to officers and employees, itemizing certain receipts of $5,000 or more, and disclosing the identity of the purchaser or seller in transactions involving union assets. All the proposed changes will bring further clarity to the Form LM-2 by improving disclosure in these areas. The proposed rule also increases accountability by establishing a fair procedure, including due process rights for the union, for revoking a privilege of filing a simplified annual LM-3 report instead of the more detailed LM-2.

"The proposed rule builds on the administration's continuing commitment to transparency and accountability for corporations, pension funds and labor unions," said Don Todd, deputy assistant secretary for the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS). "This proposed rule provides union members with more complete information about union finances and will better protect their legal rights to transparency and accountability under the law."

OLMS's public disclosure Web site at contains union annual financial reports and additional reports required to be filed under the LMRDA as well as copies of collective bargaining agreements. Other information, including synopses of OLMS enforcement actions, is available at

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