Last year former APFA President Bob Ross was found to have misappropriated funds while running the union. An arbitrator’s award covered charges he billed a family vacation to the union credit card, improperly billed his personal furniture (and bedding and even toilet paper) to the union, and of having the union pay for a personal office he wasn’t entitled to among other alleged misdeeds.
Ross filed suit to overturn the arbitrator’s judgment, arguing first that he shouldn’t be singled out among past union Presidents for financial impropriety, and then that the accusations against him are all part of a plot for Sara Nelson’s AFA-CWA to take over the union.
A power struggle ensued between the AFA and APFA in which AFA ended up infiltrating APFA with their eye on a merger of the two unions. The result has been the use of APFA’s Disciplinary Procedures as a method of victimizing those within APFA’s union that stand against a merger between AFA and APFA.
…Since the day after Ross was elected APFA National President, his administration and supporters were met with stonewalling tactics, disparaging remarks, and conflict from those APFA members who remain loyal to the AFA agenda seeking a merger and ultimate takeover of APFA (“AFA/APFA”).
Some of the people who don’t like Bob Ross may be motivated by a desire to deliver the Association of Professional Flight Attendants into Sara Nelson’s hands. But when they’re gunning for you it’s even more important not to give them ammunition like diverting flight attendant dues to personal use, as the arbitrator found.
Now he’s suing the union for $1.8 million (plus both ‘all attorney’s fees’ and ‘reasonable attorney’s fees’) because, in seeking to collect debts owed as a result of diverting union funds to personal use, he says they violated government debt collection rules. (Lawsuit)
Once again he’s arguing that this is all a conspiracy against him by a rival union (“Vioations of APFA members’ rights have ensued in pursuit of the AFA agenda…”). He again claims the debts found by the arbitrator are valid, that his transition agreement out of his role as union President allowed him to keep some of the money, and that various other procedures were violated in trynig to collect the money back from him.
Ross was elected to head the flight attendants union after Laura Glading was run out for working closely with US Airways management on the takeover of the airline and on the contract that would be imposed on flight attendants after the merger if something better wasn’t agreed to and accepted (the ‘JCBA’). Glading was accused of impropriety because she’s related to former US Airways and then American Airlines executive Tom Weir. She’s now retired from the FAA.
The union has been weak and arguably mismanaged and rife with infighting. The rival Association of Flight Attendants which used to represent US Airways flight attendants, has certainly made moves in the direction of taking over.
Six years ago an American Airlines flight attendant grabbed a passenger’s stroller and nearly hit her baby. The whole thing was filmed. At the time Ross put out a statement that the real story about putting this woman’s child in danger is the passengers who stuck up for her should be prosecuted, a classic ‘but your honor, his face got in the way of my fist’ move. He was certainly a more combative leader of APFA, compared to what seems more like a company union today.