New Rules Are Pro-Worker

Despite the AFL-CIO’s lawsuit trying to block new disclosure rules, the Wheeling News-Register sees through the union bosses’ obfuscation of the issue:

Big labor and the liberal politicians who benefit from its largess are hopping mad about Department of Labor rules that would — gasp! — require that labor leaders be more accountable to those they represent.

New Department of Labor rules require that officers and employees of unions must file reports detailing any loans or other payments they receive from vendors doing business with the unions. The idea is simply to allow union members to know more about potential conflicts of interest involving their leaders.

Given the too-cozy relationships that have existed in the past among leaders of some big unions and those doing business with them, that sounds like a good idea. Union members are entitled to know when their leaders accept money from outside interests — sometimes in return for favors that don’t benefit the working men and women.

But some unions don’t like the idea. They’d rather keep their closed-door deals quiet. The AFL-CIO already has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to block implementation of the new rules.

Sen. Hillary Clinton, the leading Democratic Party candidate for president, was quick to side with the AFL-CIO — many union members of which, not just incidentally, aid her campaign. She claimed the rules are “without justification.”

Union members know better, of course. They are well aware of abuses of trust involving too many of their leaders in the past. And they deserve to have the new reporting rules, simply as a safeguard against such abuses in the future.