Number: 01-05

March 3, 2005

Labor Department Releases 2004 Program Highlights for the Office of Labor-Management Standards

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) has released its "2004 Program Highlights" annual report. This is the first annual report to be issued by OLMS since 1978 and highlights the fiscal year success of the agency and the importance of its role in supporting America's workforce.

"OLMS has worked extensively and successfully in 2004 to achieve its three-pronged mission of safeguarding union assets, ensuring financial responsibility and advancing union democracy for America's union members," stated Don Todd, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Labor-Management Programs.

In working to safeguard union assets, OLMS conducted compliance assistance sessions on financial reporting and record-keeping while also initiating extensive investigations in 2004. These investigations led to 111 criminal convictions for crimes involving union assets.

A number of major criminal cases were concluded. The former president of the Washington Teachers' Union and four associated individuals have pled guilty to charges relating to fraud, money laundering and embezzlement of more than $4.5 million. After an investigation of the relationship between the international officers and designated legal counsel of the United Transportation Union, a long-standing pattern of corruption and racketeering was found. The sitting president of the international union ultimately resigned, and he and the previous international president were convicted of RICO conspiracy. Finally, OLMS and other federal agencies have been investigating Elevator Constructors Local One in New York City and other unions for "no show jobs" and "labor peace payoff" schemes. To date, there have been more than 50 individuals charged with crimes, resulting in over 30 guilty pleas or convictions, and the investigation is continuing.

"A number of these crimes might not have been committed if the union officers involved had been complying with their conflict-of-interest (Form LM-30) obligations," Todd said. "In our ongoing effort to strengthen union financial transparency and integrity on behalf of union members, the department is reviewing the LM-30 reporting requirement and will be proposing ways to modernize and improve these reports."

Additionally, in working toward ensuring union democracy, OLMS completed 107 election investigations and supervised 28 union officer elections in 2004.

To view the Program Highlights, please visit the OLMS Web site.

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Last Updated: 03/03/05