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A federally-imposed reporting requirement goes into effect today that is a transparent attempt by the Bush administration to intimidate union activists and hamper union activity. The tactic is to do to unions what conservatives complain liberals do to businesses: Bog them down in needless paperwork.

The rule would require thousands of shop stewards and others union volunteers to file a detailed financial disclosure form to the Department of Labor, which would then post the form on the Internet. The form in question is known as the “LM-30,” formally the Labor Organization Officer and Employee Report. The final ruling was published in the Federal Register on July 2.

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