Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS)
U.S. Department of Labor
Office of Labor-Management Standards
Buffalo District Office
130 South Elmwood Avenue, Suite 510
Buffalo, NY 14202
(716) 842-2900 Fax: (716) 842-2901
September 29, 2011
Mr. Leslie Laursen, Financial-Secretary
Steelworkers, LU 12460
P.O. Box 426
Watkins Glen, NY 14891-0426
LM Number: 001062
Dear Mr. Laursen:
This office has recently completed an audit of Steelworkers, LU 12460 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 Byron Thompson, Vice President Ray Smith, Treasurer Rick Holmes, Trustee Harlan Fulkerson, Trustee David Bauman and you on September 8, 2011, 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.
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 12460’s 2010 records revealed the following recordkeeping violations:
1. General Reimbursed Expenses
Local 12460 did not retain adequate documentation for reimbursed expenses totaling at least $2,800. For example, Local 12460 paid Montour Moose for the annual summer outing but did not retain the documentation.
As 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. Meal Expenses
Local 12460 did not require officers and employees to submit itemized receipts for meal expenses totaling at least $407. The union must maintain itemized receipts provided by restaurants to officers and employees. These itemized receipts are necessary to determine if such disbursements are for union business purposes and to sufficiently fulfill the recordkeeping requirement of LMRDA Section 206.
Local 12460 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, a payment for meals at the Radisson hotel during negotiations did not have any retained documentation, other than the total bill. 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.
Based on your assurance that Local 12460 will retain adequate documentation in the future, OLMS will take no further enforcement action at this time regarding the above 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 12460 for the fiscal year ended December 30, 2010, was deficient in the following areas:
1. Acquire/Dispose of Property
Item 13 [LM-3] (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 Tops gift cards totaling more than $5,000 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.”
I am not requiring that Local 12460 file an amended LM report for 2010 to correct the deficient items, but Local 12460 has agreed to properly report the deficient items on all future reports it files with OLMS.
2. Failure to File Bylaws
The audit disclosed a violation of LMRDA Section 201(a), which requires that a union submit a copy of its revised constitution and bylaws with its LM report when it makes changes to its constitution or bylaws. Local 12460 amended its constitution and bylaws in 2006, but did not file a copy with its LM report for that year.
Local 12460 have now filed a copy of its constitution and bylaws.
I want to extend my personal appreciation to Steelworkers, LU 12460 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.
Cc: Byron Thompson, President
Rick Holmes, Treasurer