WASHINGTON — Labor union officials, and employees and trustees of union pension plans can say goodbye to big parties, golf junkets, country club memberships and personal financial favors from money managers, investment consultants and other service providers.
All this is thanks to the Labor Department's newfound enthusiasm for enforcing the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act. The 1959 law requires disclosures of any gifts, gratuities and entertainment used by employers, service providers, labor union officials and plan trustees to influence each other, but it hasn't been enforced for years.
The heightened scrutiny by the department's Office of Labor-Management Standard began earlier this year, and has caused confusion, consternation and panic among trustees and union officials, as well as vendors.
Reaction from those affected by the crackdown prompted Labor Department officials to extend to Aug. 15 the deadline for reporting gifts, entertainment and reimbursement of expenses. The earlier grace period originally was to end July 15.
At a July 7 closed meeting at which the extension was announced, Don Todd, deputy assistant secretary for labor-management relations, said a similar grace period is being considered for employers, including union pension plans, to disclose their financial dealings with union employees, union officials, pension plan trustees and service providers.
In an interview, Mr. Todd said his office also has begun "an initiative to collect the form (LM-10) from businesses, which must report their side of dealings with unions and union officials."