Unions to Face Increased Federal Regulation

Published March 1, 2003

Unions across America are about to learn why many conservatives and libertarians constantly call for smaller government: Regulatory compliance can be hell on your operations. The U.S. Department of Labor released for public comment its newest version of Form LM-2, Labor Organization Annual Report.

The current version requires unions with any members working in the private sector to report their incomes and expenditures in broad categories, and to list the salaries and expenses of their officers and employees.

The new version not only requires a more detailed itemization of expenditures, but also a breakdown of membership numbers by active, associate, and retired status, along with the number of agency fee payers in the organization.

But unions will squawk the loudest over the new requirement to list the percentage of time each union officer and employee worked on contract negotiation, organizing, administration, political activities, and lobbying.

The national offices of the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers will have to fill out the new form, but most state affiliates are not subject to the reporting requirements because they represent public employees only. Neither NEA nor AFT has issued a statement about the LM-2 requirements, though any written comments to the Labor Department will become public record and available through the Freedom of Information Act.

For more information …

The new Form LM-2 and instructions are available online at: http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/28dec20010800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2002/pdf/02-32445.pdf.