Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS)
U.S. Department of Labor
Office of Labor-Management Standards
Philadelphia District Office
The Curtis Center
170 S. Independence Mall West, Suite 760 W
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 861-4818 Fax: (215) 861-4819
January 22, 2013
Mr. Joseph Colucci, Business Manager
Iron Workers Local 36
521 5th Street
Whitehall, PA 18052
LM Number: 027966
Dear Mr. Colucci:
This office has recently completed an audit of Iron Workers Local 36 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 January 22, 2013, 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 36’s 2011 records revealed the following recordkeeping violations:
1. Meal Expenses
Local 36 did not require officers to submit itemized receipts for meal expenses totaling at least $272.37. 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 36 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, there was no back-up documentation maintained for an expense of $25.02 incurred at West Gate Pizza in Bethlehem, PA. 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. Union Owned/Leased Vehicles
The union did not maintain records necessary to verify the accuracy of the information reported in Schedules 11 (All Officers and Disbursements to Officers) and 12 (Disbursements to Employees) of the LM-2.
Local 36 incurred automobile expenses totaling at least $8,000.00 during 2011. However, Local 36 did not maintain records documenting business versus personal use of the union vehicles.
The LM-2 instructions include specific rules for the reporting of automobile expenses. The union must report operating and maintenance costs for each of its owned or leased vehicles in Schedules 11 and 12 of the LM-2, allocated to the officer or employee to whom each vehicle is assigned.
For each trip they take using a union owned or leased vehicle, officers and employees must maintain mileage logs that show the date, number of miles driven, whether the trip was business or personal, and, if business, the purpose of the trip.
Based on your assurance that Local 36 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 (Form LM-2) filed by Local 36 for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011, was deficient in the following area:
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 36 amended its constitution and bylaws in 1994, but did not file a copy with its LM report for that year.
Local 36 has now filed a copy of its constitution and bylaws.
Use of One Authorized Signature
During the audit, Business Manager Colucci advised that he is the sole authorized signatory on the union’s Market Recovery and Special Activities checking accounts. Business Manager Colucci indicated that the Executive Board reviews the checks before they are issued. However, a two signature requirement is an effective internal control of union funds. Its purpose is to attest to the authenticity of a completed check already signed. A check with one signature fails to attest to the authenticity of the completed check. OLMS recommends that Local 36 review these procedures to improve internal control of union funds.
I want to extend my personal appreciation to Iron Workers Local 36 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: Mr. Brett Schaffer, President