Amid the finger-pointing over accountability and transparency on Wall Street, virtually unnoticed is a new disclosure rule issued last week by the Labor Department that forces unions to make public huge slush funds hidden for half a century.
At issue are T-1 trusts—rainy-day funds initially designed to retrain union workers in the event of workplace changes. The trusts were originally known as “nickel funds” because companies would contribute 5 cents for every hour worked by a union member, but current contributions can run as high as $10.
So how much money are we talking about? Aside from Big Labor bosses, no one rightly knows.