From The Financial Week:
The AFL-CIO wants auditors to step up their reviews of corporate books and records in order to curb illegal stock option backdating.
In letters to the Big Four accounting firms, AFL-CIO treasurer Richard Trumka said independent auditors should dig deeper into corporate disclosures and stock option practices from the past five years—especially during the months surrounding passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which tightened disclosure rules for backdating.
Meanwhile, the Heritage Foundation’s Robert Bluey reminds us that labor and their congressional allies are trying to slash the budget for the Office of Labor Management Standards, the Department of Labor office that in recent years increased its oversight of union spending and disclosures.
The increased transparency has revealed some embarrassing expenditures for unions, such as the $1.9 million spent by the International Association of Machinists on its very own Lear jet. But while transparency is a good thing for union members who expect good stewardship from their leaders, it has met resistance on Capitol Hill, where many liberals count on union leaders for fundraising help.
Bluey notes that Rep. John Kline of Minnesota introduced an amendment to restore $2 million back to the office. No go.
Citing the agency’s success in winning restitution for union workers, Kline said, “Some of my colleagues may dismiss these monetary results as just small change compared to the billions of assets held by labor unions, but they miss the point. Stealing from your fellow union members is against the law, regardless of whether the theft is $10,000 or $100,000. And anywhere in the country but Washington, D.C., $10,000 is a lot of money.”
Apparently some forms of malefaction aren’t worth worrying about, at least judging by the AFL-CIO’s curious standards.
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