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Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS)




U.S. Department of Labor

Employment Standards Administration
Office of Labor-Management Standards
Nashville District Office
233 Cumberland Bend Drive
Room 110
Nashville, TN 37228
(615)736-5906 Fax: (615)736-7148


February 20, 2008

 

Mr. Terry Bailey, Secretary-Treasurer
Boilermakers AFL-CIO
Local 656
1011 Bachman Street
Chattanooga, TN 37406

LM File Number 008-445
Case Number: ||||||||||||||||||||||

Dear Mr. Bailey:

This office has recently completed an audit of Boilermakers AFL-CIO Local 656 under the Compliance Audit Program (CAP) to determine your organization’s compliance with the provisions of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA). As discussed during the exit interview with you on February 01, 2008, the following problems were disclosed during the CAP. The matters listed below are not an exhaustive list of all possible problem areas since the audit conducted was limited in scope.

The CAP disclosed the following findings:

Recordkeeping Violations

Title II of the LMRDA establishes certain reporting and recordkeeping requirements. Section 206 requires, among other things, that labor organizations maintain adequate records for at least five years by which each receipt and disbursement of funds, as well as all account balances, can be verified, explained, and clarified. As a general rule, labor organizations must maintain all records used or received in the course of union business.

For disbursements, this includes not only original bills, invoices, receipts, vouchers, and applicable resolutions, but also documentation showing the nature of the union business requiring the disbursement, the goods or services received, and the identity of the recipient(s) of the goods or services. In most instances, this documentation requirement can be satisfied with a sufficiently descriptive expense receipt or invoice. If an expense receipt is not sufficiently descriptive, a union officer or employee should write a note on it providing the additional information. For money it receives, the labor organization must keep at least one record showing the date, amount, purpose, and source of that money. The labor organization must also retain bank records for all accounts.

The audit of Local 656’s 2007 records revealed the following recordkeeping violations:

1. Meal Expenses

Local 656 records of meal expenses did not always include written explanations of union business conducted or the names and titles of the persons incurring the restaurant charges. For example, $37.06 at Golden Corral on 10/02/06 for four people, $26.22 at Big River Grille on 10/27/06 for two people, and $19.85 at TGI Friday’s on 01/12/07 for two people . Union records of meal expenses must include written explanations of the union business conducted and the full names and titles of all persons who incurred the restaurant charges. Also, the records retained must identify the names of the restaurants where the officers or employees incurred meal expenses.

2. Lost Wages

Local 656 did not retain adequate documentation for lost wage reimbursement payments to you, Larry Ezell, and Bob Gilbert totaling at least $848.00. The union must maintain records in support of lost wage claims that identify each date lost wages were incurred, the number of hours lost on each date, the applicable rate of pay, and a description of the union business conducted. The OLMS audit found that Local 656 did not maintain lost time vouchers for the previously listed officers.

3. Disposition of Property

Local 656 did not maintain an inventory of hats and t-shirts it purchased, sold, or gave away. The union must report the value of any union property on hand at the beginning and end of each year in Item 30 (Other Assets) of the LM-3. The union must retain an inventory or similar record of property on hand to verify, clarify, and explain the information that must be reported in Item 30.

The union must record in at least one record the date and amount received from each sale of union hats and t-shirts.

4. Receipt Dates not Recorded

Entries in Local 656’s Quicken monthly summaries reflect the date the union deposited money, but not the date money was received. Union receipts records must show the date of receipt. The date of receipt is required to verify, explain, or clarify amounts required to be reported in Statement B (Receipts and Disbursements) of the LM-3. The LM-3 instructions for Statement B state that the labor organization must record receipts when it actually receives money and disbursements when it actually pays out money. Failure to record the date money was received could result in the union reporting some receipts for a different year than when it actually received them.

Based on your assurance that Local 656 will retain adequate documentation in the future, OLMS will take no further enforcement action at this time regarding the above violations.

Reporting Violations

The audit disclosed a violation of LMRDA Section 201(b), which requires labor organizations to file annual financial reports accurately disclosing their financial condition and operations. The Labor Organization Annual Report (Form LM-3) filed by Local 656 for fiscal year ending June 30, 2007, was deficient in that:

1. Acquire/Dispose of Property

Item 13 (During the reporting period did your organization acquire or dispose of any assets in any manner other than by purchase or sale?) should have been answered, "Yes," because the union gave away t-shirts during the year. The union must identify the type and value of any property received or given away in the additional information section of the LM report along with the identity of the recipient(s) or donor(s) of such property. The union does not have to itemize every recipient of such giveaways by name. The union can describe the recipients by broad categories if appropriate such as “members” or “new retirees.” In addition, the union must report the cost, book value, and trade-in allowance for assets that it traded in.

I am not requiring that Local 656 file an amended LM report for 2007 to correct the deficient items, but Local 656 has agreed to properly report the deficient items on all future reports it files with OLMS.

I want to extend my personal appreciation to Boilermakers AFL-CIO Local 656 for the cooperation and courtesy extended during this compliance audit. I strongly recommend that you make sure this letter and the compliance assistance materials provided to you are passed on to future officers. If we can provide any additional assistance, please do not hesitate to call.

Sincerely,

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Investigator

cc: Cecil Al Cunningham, President