Unions covered by the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA), the Civil Service Retirement Act (CSRA), or the Foreign Service Act (FSA), with total annual receipts of $250,000 or more, are currently required to submit annual financial statements to the US Department of Labor. These statements provide basic information.
The LM-2 Form: This form will tell you when the next union election is, how many members the union has, the salaries of officers and staff, and other useful information, including:
- Whether the union has any subsidiary organizations
- Whether the union has a political action committee (PAC)
- Whether the union discovered any loss or shortage of funds
- Number of members
- Rates of dues and fees
- Asset categories such as cash and investments
- Liability categories such as accounts payable and mortgages payable
- Receipts categories such as dues and interest
- Disbursement categories such as payments to officers and repayment of loans obtained
- A schedule of payments to officers
- A schedule of payments to employees
- A schedule of office and administrative expenses
- A schedule of loans payable.
LM-2 forms (as well as LM-3 forms for smaller unions) are public documents that are now online and searchable the US Department of Labor. This means you can look for all officers earning over $100,000, for example, or for information about a particular officer or employee of the union. You can also get information on union Trusts and Political Action Committees (PACs).
To search forms available in DOL’s Online Public Disclosure Room or to learn more on how to use the site, click here.
To search LM-2s specifically:
- In the “Union Reports and Collective Bargaining Agreements: Online Public Disclosure Room,” scroll down about a third of the window to the first point “Union (Form LM-2, LM-3, or LM-4) Search” under “Access Union Reports and Constitutions and Bylaws.” Click on the highlighted link.
- Or, go directly here. Most individuals will not know the file number so just give whatever information you do know. Identify whether you want information about a union, a trust, or both. For purposes of this example, select “union,” then choose the union’s Abbreviation (CWA for example), or enter the union’s Affiliation (for example “Communications Workers AFL-CIO”), Organization Name (“Communications Workers of America), Designation Name (whether it is a local, council, conference, etc.), Designation Number (the local or council number, for example, local “1101”), Unit Name (name of that particular unit), City (“New York”) and State (“New York”). You do not need to fill in all the fields to search. Most of the form blanks have drop-down menus to help you find the official name.
- When you have put in the information, hit “submit.” The search engine will open a new page with the unions and reports that match your search.
- Select the file you want to see and the type of report you are looking for. If you want to see salary information for officers and employees, select “Reports Specific to LM-2, LM-3, and Officer-Employee Report.”
- Note: You may have to look at various reports to find the information you want. Also, be sure to check all the pages of a form, not just the page that comes up on your screen. (Look for the “Records Next” button on the upper right.) You can also download the information.