Contractors plead guilty to embezzlement on state building project

Carpenters Local 205 Business Agent Jason Wheeler joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the case against Richmond Drywall Installers Constructors, who pled guilty to five counts of felony embezzlement. The company was charged with misclassifying workers constructing the new Virginia General Assembly Office building in 2020 in an effort to avoid paying taxes.

Another drywall contractor, GTO Drywall, is facing similar charges. However, the case against GTO was continued until February.

He said the top issues faced by the Local, which covers about 44,000 square miles in Virgina, is combatting the wage theft that results from worker misclassification.

Wheeler also talked about the challenges of organizing workers in a So-Called “Right to Work” state, plus efforts by the Local to encourage non-union carpenters to advocate for higher wages and overtime pay. While the wages of non-union workers can sometimes be competitive with union laborers, non-union carpenters often lack quality healthcare and retirement benefits, he added.

Lastly, Wheeler talked about the job opportunities the infrastructure bill will bring to Virginia, and how Local 205 is growing its membership through organizing and apprenticeship programs to meet the upcoming demand.

Listen to the entire episode to learn more about these topics:


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