Bloomberg News

Unions Get Simpler U.S. Financial Report as Obama Reverses Bush

October 25, 2011

Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Labor Department will issue a final rule tomorrow simplifying financial disclosures for unions, reversing standards adopted in the Bush administration that labor leaders said are too cumbersome.

The form for reporting a union’s finances will be two pages, down from nine in effect since 2007 under President George W. Bush, the Labor Department said today in a statement. The Obama administration proposed a shorter form in 2009 after unions said the reporting process was too intrusive, time consuming and burdensome.

Under the rule, union shop stewards aren’t required to file a form, and loans with credit institutions will be exempt from disclosure.

The U.S. required unions to report finances starting in the 1950s as a way to fight corruption and curb embezzlement by labor leaders. Financial corruption has bedeviled unions for decades, and included the 1967 jailing of Jimmy Hoffa, who was president of the 2.5 million-member International Brotherhood of Teamsters, on fraud and bribery charges. Hoffa disappeared.

The rule takes effect on Nov. 25 for fiscal years starting in January, the department said.

--Editors: Steve Geimann, John Lear

To contact the reporter on this story: Holly Rosenkrantz in Washington at hrosenkrantz@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Liebert at lliebert@bloomberg.net


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