DoL Puts out Union Disclosure Final Rule

October 1, 2008 ( - The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) on Wednesday released a final rule financial reporting for union members about finances held in union trusts.

A DoL news release said the rule, issued under the authority of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA), further implements the LMRDA goal of increasing the flow of information to union members about union finances and expenditures.

Under the rule, unions will be required to annually file a Form T-1 for trusts in which a union, alone or in combination with other unions, possesses managerial control or financial dominance. The T-1 will provide information to union members and the public about the trusts, for which there is currently little, if any, financial disclosure, the department said.

According to the news release, union trusts are established and maintained primarily to provide benefits to union members and their beneficiaries. Common examples include credit unions, strike funds, redevelopment or investment groups, training funds, apprenticeship programs, building funds, and educational funds.

The Form T-1 will use the same basic template as the existing Form LM-2, which has been in effect since January 1, 2004, and unions have experience with filing. Only labor unions with total annual receipts of $250,000 or more will need to file a Form T-1.

“This final rule builds on the administration’s commitment to transparency and accountability for corporations, pension funds and labor unions. Union members expect access to relevant and useful information in order to make fundamental investment, career and retirement decisions, evaluate options and exercise legally guaranteed rights,” said Don Todd, deputy assistant secretary for labor-management programs, in the news release. “With meaningful disclosure, the department hopes to deter potential misuse of union trusts that have occurred in the past and allow union members to know exactly where their hard-earned dollars are being spent.”

More information is available here .