The Key to Timely and Accurate Labor Union Reporting
From Amazon to Starbucks; from Google to ski resorts in Utah; from the “green energy” industry to the healthcare industry, more workers are becoming aware of their rights to organize and bargain collectively. The Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) helps ensure that workers can exercise these rights by advancing democracy, transparency, and financial integrity in the labor organizations that represent them.
OLMS administers and enforces the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA), which was passed in 1959 to further the national policy of “protect[ing] employees' rights to organize, choose their own representatives, bargain collectively, and otherwise engage in concerted activities for their mutual aid or protection,” by establishing standards that promote financial transparency, fair officer elections, and the security of union funds.
In 2010, OLMS created the Voluntary Compliance Partnership (VCP) program. OLMS regularly meets with its partner national and international unions’ officers and staff to provide them with tools they can use to assist their local and intermediate affiliates in complying with the LMRDA’s reporting and financial integrity requirements.
These tools include:
- A package of information highlighting data about their affiliates that may need additional assistance to meet the LMRDA’s requirements
- Website information
- Compliance tips
- Fact sheets to aid our partners in assisting with the compliance efforts of their affiliates.
We also assist our partners with any issues they or their affiliates may have with electronic filing and share with them financial best practices and training materials on LMRDA subjects. And beyond our annual meetings, throughout the year, we provide VCP partners with union-specific training and, upon request, participate in their conferences to offer our guidance.
While VCP began with just a few unions, OLMS now partners with 47 of the largest international and national labor unions that collectively represent over 16,000 intermediate and local union affiliates – over 80% of LMRDA-covered unions. This large increase is not surprising. VCP is producing the results we intended and expected when we started the program. In fiscal year 2022, the on-time filing rate among unions affiliated with VCP partners was 86%, compared to 69% among locals from non-VCP partners. The overall on-time filing rate was 83%, improving upon the 80% rate from the prior fiscal year. Working together with OLMS, VCP partners are moving closer to 100% on-time filing compliance.
OLMS is committed to working together with unions through the VCP program to help them ensure the protection of the democracy and transparency that members deserve. As Director, I would like to grow the number of participating national and international unions. If your labor organization is interested in participating in the VCP program or has any questions, please check out the OLMS VCP fact sheet. And don’t hesitate to contact OLMS at OLMS-Public@dol.gov or by phone at (202) 693-0123 with any questions you might have regarding the VCP Program or any other LMRDA issue.
Jeffrey Freund is the director of the Office of Labor-Management Standards. He would like to thank student intern Evan Sunshine for his assistance and research with this blog.
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