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Bush’s union transparency rules retracted under Obama
For example, the UAW-Daimler Chrysler Skill Development and Training Program said in its 2006 tax return that it spent $16.3 million on sponsorships. It provided no details. The tax return does not show that much of that money was spent on NASCAR sponsorships of cars and a race, the UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400.
The program, now known as the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center, was one of three trust funds that the Big Three automakers operated jointly with the UAW, spending hundreds of millions of dollars with little transparency. The other two autoworker funds also spent millions of dollars without having to detail where that money went.
The Bush Labor Department estimated that 3,131 trusts would have to file T-1 forms under the new rules, detailing salaries as well as itemizing expenses of $10,000 or more.
In its proposal to rescind the T-1, the Obama administration said the required form was “overly broad and is not necessary.” Instead, the department proposed that the unions list the information on their annual LM-2 reports for their subsidiaries - entities that are “wholly owned, controlled and financed by a single union.”
“What we’re doing there is looking at obtaining that information, but placing it in a form we already require people to fill out,” Mrs. Solis said at the February hearing. “So it’s not as though we’re abrogating or trying to decrease or de-emphasize information. I think what we’re doing is … making it easier for people to report this information.”
But the finances of the autoworker training centers and some other trusts may not have to be reported under Mrs. Solis’ proposal.
Virginia lawyer Nathan Mehrens, who helped write the T-1 rules as a Bush Labor Department special assistant, said the UAW likely would not have to report the finances of the development and training program because it does not fit the definition of a union subsidiary.
He said it does not qualify because the union does not control the boards - half the board members are appointed by management.
“They are carving it up,” added Mrs. Chao. “The problem is their proposal only applies to union entities.”
Current Labor Department officials said they did not want to speculate on what organizations would have to file under the new plan while the rule-making process is under way.
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