Today Rep. Michelle Steel (CA-48) questioned Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh about the Protect Right to Organize (PRO) Act and the Biden Administration’s recent rescission of union finance transparency rules. Rep. Steel, with fellow House Committee on Education and Labor member Rep. Tim Walberg (MI-07), recently introduced the Union Transparency and Accountability Act (H.R. 3640), would codify rules in the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA). LMRDA targets improper practices in unions, ensuring that officials “adhere to the highest standards of responsibility and ethical conduct in administering the affairs of their organizations.” The law allows union workers to see how their dues are being spent.
Under Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump, the Department of Labor proposed rules that would increase transparency surrounding financial spending. However, the Obama and Biden Administrations have rescinded these rules. The Union Transparency and Accountability Act would codify requirements – like requiring unions to disclose the name of any party buying or selling union assets of $5,000 or more (Form LM-2), requiring more union officials to declare whether they receive any income or economic benefit from an entity that does business with the union or employs union members (Form LM-30), and required union trusts to file their own separate financial disclosures (Form T-1).
“Union members deserve honesty about where their dues are going. Unfortunately, there is a long history of union bosses using money from American workers for lavish personal expenses. This corruption is unacceptable and is anti-worker. That’s why I was proud to introduce this legislation with Rep. Walberg to ensure labor organizations are not abusing their members’ hard-earned money,” Rep. Steel said about the Union Transparency and Accountability Act.
“Coming from Michigan—in wake of the UAW embezzlement scandal—we have seen what can happen when union leaders abuse the trust of their rank and file members. We can’t let this type of wrongdoing happen again. That’s why I am delighted to work with Congresswoman Steel on these commonsense transparency measures to better protect dues-paying workers and their rights,” said Rep. Walberg.
Rep. Steel also questioned Secretary Walsh about the PRO Act, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives on March 9, 2021, and could cost employers up to $47 billion, create less flexibility for workers and nationalize some of California’s worst liberal policies. The PRO Act would nationalize the ‘ABC Test’ seen in California that makes it harder for workers to define themselves as independent contractors. This would negatively impact millions of jobs across the country and take away workers’ flexibility to do their jobs. Rep. Steel spoke on the House Floor and penned an OpEd with fellow committee member Rep. Burgess Owens (R-UT) against this legislation in March.