Obama requires no accountability for union dues
Jim Brown - OneNewsNow - 5/8/2009 4:00:00 AMFormer Labor Secretary Elaine Chao is chastising the Obama administration for not requiring labor unions to be fully transparent about how they are spending the dues money of their members.
In 1959, a law was passed requiring labor organizations to file annual financial disclosure statements, as well as conflict-of-interest, self-dealing statements. The Obama administration announced recently that it intends to rescind regulations that were put in place by former Bush Labor Secretary Elaine Chao to ensure the law was enforced.
Secretary Chao says it is "the height of hypocrisy" for the Obama administration and the Democratic majority in Congress to claim they are "pro-worker" yet eviscerate regulations that would require labor organizations to tell their own rank-and-file members how their hard-earned dues are being spent.
"We saw submissions submitted by hand and written in chicken scratch -- things like $3.9 million in 'sundry expenses' -- no further substantiation, no vouchers submitted at all," she notes. "There were other submissions that said $62 million in loans and grants to affiliated organizations -- no explanations provided."
Chao says her department also received submissions from labor unions that were using members' dues for apartments in Paris, France. She notes last year the Democratic-controlled Congress tried to give the Labor Department $956 million more than it requested, yet it wanted to slash the budget of the tiny Office of Labor Management Standards that monitors union organizations.