Union transparency

Center submits federal “official comment” in support of union transparency rule

Official Comment on Federally Proposed Union Reporting Rule

Union members and the public have right to increased transparency

Providence, RI – The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity today submitted an official comment to the US Department of Labor (DOL) in support of its proposed rule, “Labor Organization Annual Financial reports; LM Form Revisions.” 

The Center believes the proposed DOL changes are important updates to union reporting and will, as a result, provide union members with the information they need to hold their unions to account and ensure their dues are spent as they intend.

According to the Center’s CEO, Mike Stenhouse, “The rule promotes increased transparency and benefits American workers.” Informing public employees of their legal rights and of the activities of their unions is an important component of the Center’s ongoing MyPayMySayRI.com initiative. 

The Center argues that these rule changes are urgently needed so that union members have a better ability to see and understand how their dues are being spent. Increased transparency would help the DOL and local officials to root out corruption. Importantly, it also would empower union workers to make more informed decisions relating to their participation in unions and to monitor union activities so that they can better-protect their hard-earned dollars.

Also, because detailed public reporting of union spending is not always required, bad actors sometime see a loophole to try to game the system to their personal advantage. The Center’s official comment cites three examples of recent union corruption in Rhode Island that have led to criminal convictions involving wire-fraud and embezzlement. Also, in its comment, the Center suggested modifications to the proposed rule. 

The official comment period closes at midnight tonight. Federal action to enact, or not, the proposed rule could occur in 2021.

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