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Trump's DOL Wants to Expose Organizing

Changes to reporting requirements would shine a light on covert union activities

Brian Young's picture
Oct 02, 2020

The Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed a new rule that makes it harder to organize workplaces and seeks to embarrass unions with declining memberships.

The proposal which the Trump team is billing as “oversight” would increase disclosure requirements on unions, especially the bigger ones that bring in over $8 million in dues. The rule forces unions to separate out costs in their reporting. For example, many unions list collective bargaining services and organizing under “representational services” so that bosses can’t see where the union is focusing their money and attention, but under this new rule they would have to report separately. There would also be greater detail required for reporting political expenditures and money spent on lobbying. This is no doubt meant to make it easier for anti-union groups to file lawsuits challenging how unions spend their political funds.

The proposed rule also seeks to embarrass unions that have lost members. Instead of allowing them to report all members, both active and retired, unions would be forced to separate the two giving the public a clearer view of how many active members they have. This really has no other purpose than to make the unions look weaker, especially when many retirees stay active in the union doing things like joining picket lines or making calls for political candidates.

The DOL is also proposing making larger unions, ones that bring in over $8 million in dues, file a new “long-form” LM-2 reporting form that would include much more detailed information than previously asked for.

The DOL is currently accepting comment on the rule for the next 60 days.

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