Obama Team Reverses Union Transparency; Finance Reporting Rules Deemed Too 'Onerous' for Labor Leaders

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), April 27, 2009 | Go to article overview

Obama Team Reverses Union Transparency; Finance Reporting Rules Deemed Too 'Onerous' for Labor Leaders


Byline: Jim McElhatton, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The Obama administration, which has boasted about its efforts to make government more transparent, is rolling back rules requiring labor unions and their leaders to report information about their finances and compensation.

The Labor Department noted in a recent disclosure that it would not be a good use of resources to bring enforcement actions against union officials who do not comply with conflict of interest reporting rules passed in 2007. Instead, union officials will now be allowed to file older, less detailed conflict reports.

The regulation, known as the LM-30 rule, was at the heart of a lawsuit that the AFL-CIO filed against the department last year. One of the union attorneys in the case, Deborah Greenfield, is now a high-ranking deputy at Labor, who also worked on the Obama transition team on labor issues.

Labor officials declined to say whether she played a role in the new policy, noting that Ms. Greenfield is abiding by all government ethics rules. In court filings, she and other union attorneys called the 2007 rules onerous.

The Labor Department also is rescinding another key labor financial disclosure regulation. The expansion of the so-called LM-2 rule, approved during the last days of the Bush administration, requires unions to report more information about finances and labor leaders' compensation on annual reports.

Critics worry that the rollback of union reporting requirements will keep hidden potentially corrupt financial arrangements, but unions say the Bush administration reporting rules were unfair and burdensome.

Strong financial disclosure requirements are necessary to root out and combat union-related corruption, Rep. Howard P. Buck McKeon, California Republican, and Rep. John Kline, Minnesota Republican, wrote in a recent letter to the department.

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas sent the department a similar letter signed by more than two dozen other Republicans.

But Labor Department spokeswoman Gloria Della said Secretary Hilda L. Solis is committed to strong, fair and balanced enforcement of labor-management reporting laws. She said the department's move to rescind the expanded LM-2 financial reporting requirements gives the department the opportunity to evaluate whether we are taking the best actions toward that goal.

The department declined to comment on the potential for more changes in the financial reporting rules for unions. But officials referred to a lengthy statement the department recently published in the Federal Register.

The statement, by Shelby Hallmark, acting assistant secretary for employment standards, and Andrew D. Auerbach, deputy director for the Office of Labor-Management Standards, deemed it a mistake for the Bush administration to propose further changes to LM-2 disclosure regulations. The officials said not enough time had passed since previous reporting rule changes were passed in 2003.

The department agrees with the contention that financial transparency is necessary to protect against union fraud and corruption and to enhance accountability among union officials, and that it is necessary for members to effectively engage in union-self governance, the labor regulators wrote.

However, Mark Mix, president of the pro-business National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which provides legal services to workers who say unions have violated their rights, called the rollback of union financial disclosures troubling. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Obama Team Reverses Union Transparency; Finance Reporting Rules Deemed Too 'Onerous' for Labor Leaders
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.