Former Postal Workers President in South Carolina Pleads Guilty

On October 22, Dana Quinn Roush, former president of American Postal Workers Union Local 403, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina to one count of embezzlement of funds in the sum of $10,089 from the Spartanburg-based union. She had been charged on September 12 following a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

This may be the least of her problems. On September 19, a woman named Dana Q. Roush, a resident of nearby Greenville, S.C., was found guilty in federal court of mail fraud conspiracy in connection with a rent-to-own residential real estate scam involving about 130 properties that she ran with husband Michael Roush. The husband had pleaded guilty prior to trial. The couple’s firm, Kingdom Connected Investments (KCI) LLC, promised a “win-win” outcome for distressed homeowners and aspiring homebuyers. KCI, marketed as a “Christian” organization, would buy a … Read More ➡

Metal Trades Council Ex-President in Alabama Indicted for Bank Robbery

On October 30, Ellen Canterbury, former president of the Metal Trades Council, Wiregrass Trades, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama following her indictment for bank robbery and incidental crimes totaling $11,570. The Fort Rucker, Ala.-based council is an affiliate of the AFL-CIO’s Metal Trades Department, which consists of 17 unions. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Former CWA President in Connecticut Sentenced for Embezzlement

On November 7, Thomas Popillo, former president of Communications Workers of America Local 81266, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut to three years of probation, including six months of home confinement, for embezzling $37,568.68 in funds from the Newington-based union. He also was ordered to pay full restitution and a $100 special assessment. Popillo had pleaded guilty in August following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

The PRO Act Gives Unions Everything They Could Want

If there is a worse piece of legislation in the history of American labor relations than the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, one would be hard-pressed to find it. This gift to organized labor, introduced in May by Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., would dismantle virtually every existing safeguard against union monopoly in the private-sector workplace. Among its features, the measure would override state Right to Work laws protecting employees from being fired for withholding union dues; create an expansive “joint employer” standard to force employers to bargain alongside their contractors; and ban employment arbitration agreements. The House Education and Labor Committee approved the measure on September 25 in a party-line 26-21 vote, setting up a brutal battle in 2020 in the full House and likely the Senate.

Labor unions in this country regularly proclaim their solidarity with “working families,” also known as “working … Read More ➡

Upstate New York Steelworkers Financial Secretary Charged with Thefts

Brian Arnold had total authority over his union’s finances. That’s why the numbers didn’t add up. On October 29, Arnold, former financial secretary of United Steelworkers Local 104M, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York with one count of embezzling more than $33,000 in funds from the Elmira-based union and one count of falsifying financial records to conceal the thefts. Local 104M represents about 75 employees at Anchor Glass Container Corporation. The charges follow an investigation by the FBI and the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Arnold, now 48, a resident of Elmira, controlled all aspects of union finances. According to prosecutors, he used that control as a license to steal. During April 2016-August 2018, he allegedly embezzled funds in a variety of ways. He made unauthorized purchases totaling $14,639.13 at hotels, restaurants and retail stores with his local debit card; made unauthorized … Read More ➡

Philadelphia Teachers President Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

On October 23, James Young, president of American Federation of Teachers Local 4973, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to one count of embezzling $7,050 in funds from the Philadelphia union. He had been charged on October 1. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Steelworkers Secretary in Arkansas Sentenced for False Record-Keeping

On October 24, Deloistine Williams, former secretary-treasurer of United Steelworkers Local 929, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas to one year of probation for concealing thefts in the financial records of the West Helena, Ark.-based union. She also was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $13,205. Williams had been charged in August following a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Secretary-Treasurer of Machinists Local in Maine Indicted

On October 11, Jeffrey Phillips, former financial secretary-treasurer of International Association of Machinists Local 836, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the District of Maine on one count of theft in a sum of more than $1,000 from the Kittery-based union, which represents workers at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. The indictment follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Laborers Business Manager in New Hampshire Sentenced for Embezzlement

On October 10, Dennis Robertson, former business manager for Laborers International Union of North America Local 668, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire to three years of probation for embezzling $37,897 in funds from the Hookset union during the period August 2015-February 2017. He also was ordered to pay full restitution. He had pleaded guilty in June following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Couple Pleads Guilty to Ripping Off Texas LIUNA Local; Sentenced

Orville and Teri Rae Merritt aren’t married to each other anymore. They’re probably relieved, too. On October 18, Orville Merritt, ex-business manager and treasurer of Laborers International Union of North America Local 1168, pleaded guilty in the 78th District Court of Texas for his role in the theft of nearly $46,000 in funds from the Wichita Falls union, and was sentenced to three years in prison. His sentence reflects his creating a fake Facebook account in his wife’s name in order to defraud her. Teri Rae Merritt, now known as Teri Rae Coan, shouldn’t get much sympathy. On October 30, she was sentenced to 10 years of supervision for theft from the union, where she had been office manager. She had pleaded guilty on October 25 after being charged on October 4. Both must pay restitution. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Laborers Local … Read More ➡