Union Free America
|How can I find out about union
Labor unions are a billion dollar business. The bosses in these businesses usually haul down hefty salaries, expenses and allowances.
The Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act requires most unions to file annual financial reports with the U.S. Department of Labor.
These reports are intended to help union members keep an eye on their union's finances but it wasn't working because it was too difficult to get a copy of the report. In 2002 the U.S. Department of Labor started posting these union financial reports on the Internet. This has been a big help. You can find these reports by going to the Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS). This isn't the easiest page to navigate but if you experiment around a bit you can get the hang of it and find what you are looking for. If you have problems with this contact us and we will either help you work through the navigation or copy the documents you need and send them to you.
Most of the information in these reports is worthless but they do a pretty good job of reporting the salaries, allowances and expenses of union officers and union staff. There's a function on the OLMS web page where you can search for union officers and staff by name. This is handy because one of the tricks the unions like to play is to put people on several payrolls at the same time. If you only search one report you might think that a union officer is making a fairly reasonable salary but some of them are on two, three or even more union payrolls. If you can find all the payrolls it adds up to a very tidy sum.
Letting your coworkers know how much union officials are earning can be a powerful tool in convincing them that union officials are more interested in collecting dues from them to support their own standard of living than they are in trying to improve your standard of living.
In December 2002, the Department of Labor proposed new regulations for these reports that would give a much more accurate picture of what the unions are doing with their money. The unions, of course, did everything they could to oppose these regulations. Finally, some watered down regulations were approved. These will go into effect in 2005 and by 2006 union members should be getting much better information about what union officials are really doing with their dues dollars.