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Labor Department Rolls Back Transparency for Unions

by James Sherk on November 1, 2011

in Union Politics and Transparency

The Heritage Foundation

President Obama promised to run the most . However, his Department of Labor (DOL) just announced more regulations rolling back financial transparency for labor unions.

Congress passed the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) in 1959 following hearings documenting links between labor unions and organized crime. The act requires unions to publicly disclose how they spend their members’ money. Congress believed that this would discourage malfeasance and enable union members to hold their leaders accountable.

Until recently, however, the act did little to achieve these goals. For four decades the DOL required only aggregated financial reports that provided no meaningful disclosure while permitting large loopholes that allowed unions to avoid disclosure.

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