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U.S. Department of Labor

Employment Standards Administration
Office of Labor-Management Standards
Cincinnati District Office
36 East Seventh Street, Suite 2550
Cincinnati, OH 45202
(513)684-6840 Fax: (513)684-6845


April 8, 2009

 

Ms. Teresa Whitford, Treasurer LM File Number: 071-433
Postal Workers, AFL-CIO Local 164 Case Number: ||||||||||
1385 Tennessee Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45229

Dear Ms. Whitford:

This office has recently completed an audit of Postal Workers Local 164 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 President Angela Holtgrefe and Secretary Tina Green on March 25, 2009, 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.

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 164’s 2008 records revealed the following recordkeeping violations:

1. Disposition of Property

Local 164 did not maintain an inventory of tee shirts and gift cards that 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 28 (Other Assets) of the LM-2. 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 28.

The union must record in at least one record the date and amount received from each item sold or given away.

2. Failure to Record Receipts

Local 164 did not record in its receipts records some payments received for the sale of raffle tickets and tickets to the union’s July 27, 2008 picnic at Stricker’s Grove totaling as much as $3,099. Moreover, the Treasurer’s Report lists each check paid to the union for picnic tickets, and there is a receipt in the union’s records for those payments, but the union did not list individual cash payments in the Treasurer’s Report, nor did it maintain a receipt for each cash payment. Union receipts records must include an adequate identification of all money the union receives. The records should show the date and amount received, and the source of the money.

3. Receipt Dates not Recorded

Entries in Local 164’s duplicate receipts book reflect the date deposits cleared the bank, 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-2. The LM-2 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.

The proper maintenance of union records is the personal responsibility of the individuals who are required to file Local 164’s LM report. You should be aware that under the provisions of Section 209(a) of the LMRDA and Section 3571 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code, willful failure to maintain records can result in a fine of up to $100,000 or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both. Under the provisions of Section 209(c) of the LMRDA and Section 3571 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code, willful destruction or falsification of records can result in a fine of up to $100,000 or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both. The penalties provided in Section 209(c) and Section 3571 of Title 18 apply to any person who caused the violations, not just the individuals who are responsible for filing the union’s LM report.

Based on your assurance that Local 164 will retain adequate documentation in the future, OLMS will take no further enforcement action at this time regarding the above violations.

I want to extend my personal appreciation to Postal Workers Local 164 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: President Angela Holtgrefe, Secretary Tina Green