Complying with Department of Labor (DOL) requirements for financial transparency doesn’t portend the return of slavery in this country after all. On January 8, following a nearly two-year holdout, Robert and David Taylor, respectively the president and treasurer of Transport Workers Union Local 700, representing parking garage attendants in Philadelphia, agreed in federal court to disclose their union’s revenues and expenditures. The consent decree stated that the union would be “permanently enjoined and restrained” from further failure to file its required annual LM-3 disclosure form. Local 700 had not filed reports for the years 2002-05. And this was no act of forgetfulness.
Union Corruption Update previously reported that the DOL on September 21 had filed a civil complaint against the union, demanding that the Taylors complete and submit all back reports. The department justifiably believed that it had run out of options. The local bosses had written a letter dated March 17, 2005 to Peter Papinchak, district director of the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, flatly indicating a refusal to comply. The Taylors called filing requirements “slavery,” and accused the Labor Department of “threats, duress and coercion.” Given the bizarre example recently set by Roger Toussaint, head of TWU Local 100 in New York City, such a move somehow seems appropriate. U.S. Attorney Patrick Meehan, for one, wasn’t impressed. “We cannot have rogue unions who believe they are above the law,” he said. The new agreement should put teeth into those words. (OLMS, 1/22/07; other sources).