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U.S. Department of Labor

Employment Standards Administration
Office of Labor-Management Standards
New Haven Resident Investigative Office
150 Court Street
Room 209
New Haven, CT 06510
(203)773-2130 Fax: (203)773-2333


March 13, 2009

 

Mr. John Soleski, Treasurer
Machinists
Lodge 1112
23 Thomas Street
East Haven, CT 06513

LM File Number 048-444
Case Number: ||||||||||

Dear Mr. Soleski:

This office has recently completed an audit of Machinists Lodge 1112 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 and Auditor Michael Gonzales on March 9, 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.

The CAP disclosed recordkeeping violations, reporting violations, and other violations.

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 1112’s 2007 records revealed the following recordkeeping violations:

1. General Reimbursed Expenses

Local 1112 did not retain adequate documentation for reimbursed expenses incurred by union officers totaling at least $347.24. For example, officers were reimbursed for fruit baskets purchased for union members with no supporting documentation found in the union records.

As previously noted above, labor organizations must retain original receipts, bills, and vouchers for all disbursements. The president and treasurer (or corresponding principal officers) of your union, who are required to sign your union’s LM report, are responsible for properly maintaining union records.


2. Disposition of Property

Local 1112 did not maintain an inventory of watches and other property 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 maintain a record of the recipient, value, and the date that each watch was given away.

3. Other Expenses

Local 1112 did not retain adequate documentation for local expenses totaling at least $655.00. These expenses included payments to Jacks Grill for expenses paid relating to membership meetings.

As previously noted above, labor organizations must retain original receipts, bills, and vouchers for all disbursements. The president and treasurer (or corresponding principal officers) of your union, who are required to sign your union’s LM report, are responsible for properly maintaining union records.


Based on your assurance that Local 1112 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 LM-3 filed by Local 1112 for fiscal year ending December 31, 2007, was deficient in the following areas:

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 watches totaling more than $300.00 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.
2. Cash Reconciliation

It appears that the cash figures reported in Item 25 are not the cash figures according to the union’s books after reconciliation to the bank statements. The instructions for Item 25 state that the union should obtain account balances from its books as reconciled to the balances shown on bank statements.

3. Certificate of Deposit Not Reported

Local 1112 did not include the value of a certificate of deposit in Item 25. For LM reporting purposes, OLMS considers a certificate of deposit to be cash. The purchase or redemption of a certificate of deposit is a transfer of cash from one account to another and, therefore, the local should not report these transactions as receipts or disbursements. Interest earned should be reported in Item 41/ Interest & Dividends.

4. Disbursements to Officers

Local 1112 did not report the names of some officers and the total amounts of payments to them or on their behalf in Item 24 (All Officers and Disbursements to Officers). The union must report in Item 24 all persons who held office during the year, regardless of whether they received any payments from the union.

The union must report most direct disbursements to Local 1112 officers and some indirect disbursements made on behalf of its officers in Item 24. A "direct disbursement" to an officer is a payment made to an officer in the form of cash, property, goods, services, or other things of value. See the instructions for Item 24 for a discussion of certain direct disbursements to officers that do not have to be reported in Item 24. An "indirect disbursement" to an officer is a payment to another party (including a credit card company) for cash, property, goods, services, or other things of value received by or on behalf of an officer. However, indirect disbursements for temporary lodging (such as a union check issued to a hotel) or for transportation by a public carrier (such as an airline) for an officer traveling on union business should be reported in Item 48 (Office and Administrative Expense).

5. Per Capita Tax Disbursements

It appears that disbursements for per capita tax were incorrectly reported in Item 54/Other Disbursements. All disbursements for per capita tax should be reported in Item 47/Per Capita Tax.

Local 1112 must file an amended Form LM-3 for fiscal year ending December 31, 20007, to correct the deficient items discussed above. I provided you with a blank form and instructions, and advised you that the reporting forms and instructions are available on the OLMS website (www.olms.dol.gov). The amended Form LM-3 should be submitted to this office at the above address as soon as possible, but not later than March 17, 2009. Before filing, review the report thoroughly to be sure it is complete, accurate, and signed properly with original signatures.

Other Violations

The audit disclosed the following other violation:

Inadequate Bonding

The audit revealed a violation of LMRDA Section 502 (Bonding), which requires that union officers and employees be bonded for no less than 10 percent of the total funds those individuals or their predecessors handled during the preceding fiscal year.

Local 1112’s officers and employees are currently bonded for $10,000, but they must be bonded for at least $13,000. Local 1112 should obtain adequate bonding coverage for its officers and employees immediately. Please provide proof of bonding coverage to this office as soon as possible, but not later than March 17, 2009.

 

 

 

 

I want to extend my personal appreciation to Machinists Lodge 1112 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,

 

Mary |||||||
Supervisory Investigator

cc: John Burns, Vice President
Howard Jacks, Accountant