Is SEIU Serious about Sexual Harassment?

Tyrék D. Lee Sr., an SEIU official from Massachusetts, was accused of sexually harassing female coworkers and subordinates. It was alleged that he rubbed women’s arms, shoulders, and backs, sent women lewd emails and text messages, and exposed himself and urinated in public in front of female coworkers. Lee’s offensive behavior continued over the course of several years.

The people [with knowledge of the allegations], who spoke with the Globe on the condition of anonymity, said Lee pursued sexual relationships with female co-workers by employing behavior that went beyond typical flirting; in text and e-mail messages, he sometimes used vulgar language about sexual acts he wanted to perform with them. They said Lee’s pursuit of colleagues included women who were younger and subordinate to him, putting the women in the difficult position of dating — or rejecting — a superior.

In addition to interviews, the Globe reviewed notes, e-mails, and other records included in the investigation into Lee’s behavior…

At work, Lee openly talked about women’s appearances, commenting on how he liked their hair or how “hot” their bodies were, the people said.

Rather than firing Lee, he’s been reassigned; and SEIU only took this limited action after the Boston Globe wrote about the scandal.

Furthermore, the response of some other SEIU employees to the scandal has also been disturbing. While the union tried to figure out what to do with Lee, an SEIU staffer referred to #metoo activists as “WHORES” in a Facebook post. That post was liked by another SEIU official.

Shortly after the Boston Globe published an article outlining allegations against Lee, SEIU1199 Massachusetts staffer Teia Searcy posted on Facebook  that “the whole #metoo s**t GOT the WHORES coming out” and added an emoji featuring a hand with a middle finger raised and the hashtag #karmaisab***h.

The post describing #metoo activists was liked on facebook by Senior Vice President for SEIU1199 United Healthcare Workers East Veronica Turner. Turner previously held Lee’s job before promoting him to Executive Director when she was promoted to Senior VP for the multistate SEIU1199 United Healthcare Workers East.

 

Tyrék D. Lee Sr., an SEIU official from Massachusetts, was accused of sexually harassing female coworkers and subordinates. It was alleged that he rubbed women’s arms, shoulders, and backs, sent women lewd emails and text messages, and exposed himself and urinated in public in front of female coworkers. Lee’s offensive behavior continued over the course of […]

SEIU Is No One’s Friend

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is one of the largest, wealthiest, and most powerful unions in the country. Unfortunately, because SEIU is exploitative, fundamentally dishonest, and unethical, it’s also one of the last organizations anyone should ever want on their side.

For example, one of the ways that SEIU manages to collect over $300 million a year is by skimming union dues off of the Medicaid checks that are sent to provide care for sick and disabled people. Most of the home health care providers receiving these checks never asked SEIU to “represent” them, but rather had the union imposed on them. In fact, many of these caregivers have tried to leave the union, but SEIU has schemed and fought to keep collecting their dues money.

In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that home health care providers cannot be forced to join or pay fees to a union. In the wake of this decision, the right-leaning Freedom Foundation began working to notify Washington State caregivers that they could opt out of paying union dues. Unwilling to let its members leave without a fight, SEIU went to war with the nonprofit foundation. One of the shady tactics that SEIU employed was lawfare – filing frivolous lawsuits to waste the foundation’s time and resources.

Finally, SEIU decided to launch a ballot measure to prevent the Freedom Foundation from obtaining the contact information of caregivers who were receiving Medicaid checks. But rather than have a fair and honest debate, SEIU cleverly disguised the measure as one intended to protect the elderly from identity theft and consumer fraud. Although newspaper editorial boards overwhelmingly opposed SEIU’s ballot measure, the measure passed by a wide margin due to SEIU’s trickery.

And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

In 2012, SEIU was accused of trying to sabotage a nursing home by mixing up the name plates of Alzheimers patients and removing stickers that indicated dietary restrictions. In 2014, SEIU stole the personal information of county government workers in California in an effort to poach union members from a rival union. In 2015, SEIU members abandoned mental patients to strike for higher wages. In 2016, it was reported that two Minnesota women alleged that someone forged their signature on forms authorizing SEIU dues deductions from Medicaid checks.

Last summer, SEIU finally settled with Professional Janitorial Service, a company in Texas. The union had unfairly and maliciously attacked the company causing it to lose clients. After nearly a decade in the courts, the company had won a $7.8 million judgment against SEIU.

SEIU has also been rocked by allegations of sexual harassment. Over the last several months, three SEIU employees have been fired, two resigned, and another was suspended. Of these six employees, two were SEIU executive vice presidents, another was the national organizing director for SEIU’s Fight for $15 campaign, and two more were leaders of Fight for $15 campaigns in Chicago and Detroit.

One of the most disturbing cases involved Pedro Malave, an SEIU organizer in the Boston area. The sexual assault allegations against him were serious, credible, and disgusting, and he eventually left the SEIU local where he had been working. But SEIU refused to tell his accuser, another SEIU employee, whether Malave had been fired or allowed to resign. Several months after leaving the SEIU local, Malave showed up working for an SEIU-affiliated organization. Subsequently, he went to work for two other SEIU locals on the West Coast. Only after the allegations surfaced in the media was Malave fired—over three years after SEIU was first told of his assaults. Even after the firing, Hector Figueroa, an SEIU local president, tried to excuse the fact that Malave had been rehired.

As if all that weren’t bad enough, there have also been tens of thousands of charges filed against SEIU with the National Labor Relations Board—including over 4,200 charges of coercive actions, over 2,300 charges of coercive statements, and over 750 charges of coercion.

Given SEIU’s influence and its appalling record, its actions should be closely scrutinized; and its recent efforts to worm its way into the disabled community should be questioned. Although SEIU has immense wealth, it’s only offering crumbs to disability organizations. So what does SEIU propose to do for the disabled? Is it going to train them? Is it going to hire them? Or is SEIU just looking for another group to prey upon? The disabled community deserves answers.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is one of the largest, wealthiest, and most powerful unions in the country. Unfortunately, because SEIU is exploitative, fundamentally dishonest, and unethical, it’s also one of the last organizations anyone should ever want on their side. For example, one of the ways that SEIU manages to collect over $300 […]

Just When You Thought It Was Over

Over the past several weeks, four officials with SEIU or its Fight for $15 campaign have resigned or been fired amidst an investigation into sexual harassment at the union. But, apparently, those four weren’t the only individuals facing sexual harassment allegations.

Now another former SEIU staffer has accused an SEIU organizer, Pedro Malave, of harassing her. One incident is alleged to have happened prior to their employment with SEIU. On another occasion, while they both worked for SEIU, Malave is alleged to have sexually assaulted her while she slept.

After the alleged assault, the accuser was disappointed with the union’s response. While Malave finally left the SEIU local, the union refused to say whether he had been fired. Furthermore, he later showed up working for a group that SEIU funded. Subsequently, he worked for two other SEIU locals.

At his latest SEIU local, he worked with immigrant women, which understandably concerned his accuser.

“My fear is that he has continued his predator behavior… It doesn’t seem like he is going to stop, so my fear is that he is working with undocumented women, women who cannot speak English, women who are not going to come forward out of fear, and they are basically his ideal prey.”

For the longest time, SEIU did not share her concerns.

When SEIU was questioned about the rehiring of the alleged perpetrator, it tried to deny all responsibility. “‘You need to contact the local unions you reference in your email,’ wrote [SEIU spokesperson Sahar] Wali. ‘The [International Union] doesn’t hire staff for local unions.'” This excuse is particularly weak given SEIU’s crusade to make franchisors, like McDonald’s, responsible for the decisions made by franchisees.

Only after these latest allegations were published, did Malave’s latest SEIU local finally decide to fire him — over three years after another SEIU local was told that he had sexually assaulted his coworker. Even now, given the record, there is a chance that an organization linked to SEIU will hire Malave once again.

Over the past several weeks, four officials with SEIU or its Fight for $15 campaign have resigned or been fired amidst an investigation into sexual harassment at the union. But, apparently, those four weren’t the only individuals facing sexual harassment allegations. Now another former SEIU staffer has accused an SEIU organizer, Pedro Malave, of harassing her. […]

SEIU’s Sexual Harassment Scandal

While so much attention is being focused on the allegations of sexual harassment in Hollywood, there’s another sexual harassment scandal that is not getting anywhere near as much coverage. That scandal is at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), a major campaign supporter of Democrats, and its Fight for $15 campaign.

SEIU, which is composed of janitors, security guards, child care workers, government employees, grad students, and adjunct professors, among others, is one of the largest unions in the country; its Fight for $15 campaign advocates for raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

The scandal began with allegations against Scott Courtney, formerly an SEIU Executive Vice President. Seven SEIU staffers accused Courtney of having sexual relationships with young staffers who were then promoted. Just last month, Courtney married an SEIU staffer. Furthermore, “more than a dozen current and former staffers … said complaints about top-level staff on the Fight for $15 were an open secret.” They also alleged “that complaints about abusive behavior by organizers who reported to top strategist Courtney led to no action.” Amidst an investigation, Courtney resigned from the SEIU late last month.

The Washington Free Beacon talked to a former Fight for $15 organizer. She spoke of the “the broad environment of misogyny at [the union],” and stated that she had “personally experienced sexual harassment from two people in supervisory positions.” The organizer claimed that, although she reported her harassers to human resources, it did not seem to accomplish much. Speaking of one of the harassers, she said, “His behavior didn’t change. He had an attitude of entitlement and misogyny and the feeling he could get away with really egregious comments.”

Caleb Jennings, who led SEIU’s Fight for $15 campaign in Chicago, was fired late last month. Jennings was accused of creating a toxic work environment and having a “sexist and aggressive” attitude. Over a year ago, 50 staffers signed a letter urging his firing. Included in the letter was an allegation that he had shoved a staffer into a doorframe and subsequently fired her. That former staffer, who is also an immigrant, filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board. The NLRB found that she was wrongly fired and awarded her $20,000 in back pay. She declined to take her old job back and stated, “I wouldn’t want to work for someone who assaulted me.” If the allegations against Jennings are true, it is unclear how he managed to keep a job at all, particularly one at an organization that claims to fight for workers’ rights.

Although no explanations have been provided publicly, two other Fight for $15 leaders have recently left their jobs. Mark Raleigh, who led the Detroit chapter of Fight for $15, was fired; and Kendall Fells resigned earlier this month. Fells departure is notable because he was the national organizing director for Fight for $15 and was a leading spokesman for the campaign.

After the latest departures, an SEIU spokeswoman stated the following. “These personnel actions are the culmination of this stage of the investigation which brought to light the serious problems related to abusive behavior towards staff, predominantly female staff.”

What makes the scandal even worse is the Fight for $15 campaign’s hypocrisy. On its website, the campaign asserts that “four in ten women working in fast food restaurants deal with sexual harassment on the job… This has to stop. WE have to stop it.” Yet, while the campaign was busy crusading against sexual harassment in fast food restaurants, it was ignoring serious problems in its own organization.

It is good that SEIU is finally decided to investigate its scandal and admit that it has had “serious problems,” but the union is still rather late in arriving at this conclusion. Because SEIU’s sexual harassment scandal was so widespread and reached so high into the organization, the Department of Labor should investigate to see whether any dues money from hard-working SEIU members was used to buy the silence of sexual harassment victims.

While so much attention is being focused on the allegations of sexual harassment in Hollywood, there’s another sexual harassment scandal that is not getting anywhere near as much coverage. That scandal is at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), a major campaign supporter of Democrats, and its Fight for $15 campaign. SEIU, which is composed […]

Where Does SEIU Find These People?

SEIU finally fired Caleb Jennings, a lead organizer who was accused of creating a toxic work environment and having a “sexist and aggressive” attitude. Over a year ago, 50 staffers signed a letter urging his firing. Included in the letter was an allegation that he had shoved a staffer into a doorframe and subsequently fired her. That former staffer, who is also an immigrant, filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board. The NLRB found that she was wrongly fired and awarded her $20,000 in back pay. She declined to take her old job back and stated, “I wouldn’t want to work for someone who assaulted me.”Jennings’ firing follows the resignation of SEIU’s executive vice president amidst allegations of sexual harassment and abuse.

SEIU finally fired Caleb Jennings, a lead organizer who was accused of creating a toxic work environment and having a “sexist and aggressive” attitude. Over a year ago, 50 staffers signed a letter urging his firing. Included in the letter was an allegation that he had shoved a staffer into a doorframe and subsequently fired […]

SEIU Allows Sexual Harassment?

Two SEIU staffers allege that an SEIU boss, Executive Vice President Scott Courtney, did nothing when SEIU supervisors were accused of sexual harassment and abuse. The two staffers, along with five others, also accuse Courtney of having sexual relationships with young staffers who were then promoted. “The complaints about Courtney had been an open secret among women in the high-profile Fight for $15 campaign within the union…” Finally, amidst an investigation, Courtney resigned.

Two SEIU staffers allege that an SEIU boss, Executive Vice President Scott Courtney, did nothing when SEIU supervisors were accused of sexual harassment and abuse. The two staffers, along with five others, also accuse Courtney of having sexual relationships with young staffers who were then promoted. “The complaints about Courtney had been an open secret […]

Congress: End Medicaid Funding for SEIU

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), one of the nation’s largest unions, has been filling its coffers with Medicaid dollars for years. With the help of Democrat politicians, SEIU has been raking in tens of millions of dollars each year by skimming dues off the top of Medicaid checks sent to personal care assistants, who care for Medicaid recipients in their homes. Congress should act swiftly to end this diversion of taxpayer funds.

Typically, unions are paid to negotiate and enforce contracts between employees and management. But with personal care assistants, having a union makes little sense. Personal care assistants are “employed” by the person they care for – often their own child, or another relative, or a friend. Personal care assistants do not work for the state or the federal government. And it’s not like SEIU sits down with each Medicaid patient and bargains with them over smoking breaks, time off, and benefits on behalf of each personal care assistant. Nor does SEIU make house calls to ensure that the Medicaid beneficiary is following the contract. With SEIU doing so little for these caregivers, why should they have to pay hundreds of dollars a year in dues to the union?

Because the union has so little work to do for personal care assistants, it has more time to pursue its out-of-touch, leftist agenda. Among other things, the union supports illegal immigration, huge tax increases, and more foreign aid to fight climate change, but it has opposed well-paying construction jobs and energy jobs. Appallingly, SEIU advocated for the US government to release a Cuban spy and an unrepentant terrorist. In spite of controversy surrounding the nation’s largest abortion provider – Planned Parenthood – SEIU has continued to stand with the organization and has given it tens of thousands of dollars over the years.

The president of SEIU, Mary Kay Henry, has long been aware that the union is politically out of step with many of its members noting that 20% of the union’s members are independents and about 30% of members vote Republican. Yet, according to the Center for Union Facts, 90% of SEIU’s political expenditures at the federal level go to Democrats.

Setting politics aside, SEIU has a long record of sleazy and scandalous behavior. For example, SEIU has a policy of refusing to recognize dues opt-out forms outside of arbitrary windows of time that allows it to continue collecting dues even after a member resigns, as an Oregon woman learned.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Over the years, there have been thousands of charges filed against SEIU with the National Labor Relations Board – including over 4,200 charges of coercive actions, over 2,300 charges of coercive statements, and over 750 charges of coercion.

The media has also reported on a number of shocking allegations against the SEIU. In 2012, SEIU was accused of trying to sabotage a nursing home by mixing up the name plates of Alzheimers patients and removing stickers that indicated dietary restrictions. In 2014, SEIU stole the personal information of county government workers in California in an effort to poach union members from a rival union. In 2015, SEIU members abandoned mental patients to strike for higher wages. Last year, the Washington Examiner reported on two Minnesota women who alleged that someone forged their signature on forms authorizing SEIU dues deductions from Medicaid checks. Earlier this year, SEIU finally settled with a Texas janitorial company that the union had unfairly and maliciously attacked. The company had won a multimillion-dollar judgment against SEIU.

This rogue organization does not deserve one dime from taxpayers. Fortunately, Congress can stop this insanity by attaching a rider to the next budget prohibiting the deduction of union dues from Medicaid checks. If SEIU members find the union is valuable to them, then they can voluntarily pay dues to the union. But no one – especially the kind souls tending to the sick or elderly – should be compelled to pay dues to a union that they oppose. Given all of the dirty, despicable things that SEIU has been doing in recent years, cutting off a source of its funding should be a particularly easy decision for Congress to make.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), one of the nation’s largest unions, has been filling its coffers with Medicaid dollars for years. With the help of Democrat politicians, SEIU has been raking in tens of millions of dollars each year by skimming dues off the top of Medicaid checks sent to personal care assistants, who […]

National Legal and Policy Center: SEIU Local Secretary-Treasurer in Ohio Sentenced

nplcBy Carl Horowitz

On October 23, Rena Opre, former secretary-treasurer for Service Employees International Union Local 323, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio to paying a $250 fine and a $25 special assessment for falsifying financial records of the Chicago-based union. Opre, a resident of Toledo, had pleaded guilty in May after being charged in March. The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

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By Carl Horowitz On October 23, Rena Opre, former secretary-treasurer for Service Employees International Union Local 323, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio to paying a $250 fine and a $25 special assessment for falsifying financial records of the Chicago-based union. Opre, a resident of Toledo, had pleaded guilty in May […]

SEIU Local 721 Steals Employee Data, Gets Restraining Order

SEIU-Local-721-Restraining-Order-SBPEAThe Service Employees International Union SEIU Local 721 stole personnel information from San Bernardino Public Employees Association to harass employees

It seems that the SEIU Local 721 has taken their notoriously aggressive tactics to the next level:

The SEIU, illegally, took the private personnel information of San Bernardino County employees—email address, cell phone number, home addresses and more—to contact them, demanding, threatening and harassing the workers…

What’s more, the SEIU had a restraining order filed and granted against them:

Today San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Thomas Peterson granted a temporary restraining order requested by San Bernardino Public Employees Association (SBPEA) against the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). SEIU is conducting a decertification campaign against SBPEA to become the collective bargaining representative for more than 11,000 San Bernardino County employees.

In the SEIU Local 721’s attempt to poach San Bernadino’s employees from the SBPEA, it appears they illegally obtained personal home addresses and phone numbers of current SBPEA members. Despite the fact that this information supposed to be confidential, the employees started getting phone calls and mailers from the SEIU. These employees claimed that the communications from the SEIU.

Below is a copy of the restraining order:

  SEIU Local 721 SBPEA San Bernadino Restraining Order

From the document:

SEIU . . . [is] restrained and enjoined from using and disclosing to anyone Plaintiff’s members’ confidential personal information (including, but not limited to, home addresses, home and personal phone numbers, and emergency contact information) that was obtained from the County San Bernardino’s employee records whether such information was obtained from the County of San Bernardino from SEIU, obtained from the County of San Bernardino by any of SEIU’s agents or employees, or obtained from the County of San Bernardino by a third party and provided to SEIU.”

This is not the first time an outside union has attempted to poach workers from the SBPEA. In August of 2013, the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) also attempted to decertify the SBPEA. They were not successful.

The SEIU Local 721’s attempt to decertify the SBPEA shows that they are still more intent on growing by annex rather than growing by appeal. Harassing people into joining your union does not turn them into fans of the organization. While they may ultimately vote your way, they will still harbor resentment that can undermine the long term goals of the organization.

What’s more, this means that the SEIU is spending their resources at gaining new members by force, rather than ensuring that their own members are taken care of. If the union were to spend half of the money used to harass potential members on taking care of their own members, they may be able to have a better case to make when trying to get new members. But this approach seems to have fallen by the wayside.

Ultimately, the SEIU’s strategy is failing, and will continue to fail. The overall size of the SEIU is shrinking. Rather than facing the underlying issues of corruption, mismanagement and scandal, they double down on them. Breaking the law again follows a terrible precedent that sadly the SEIU seems bent on not changing anytime soon.

The Service Employees International Union SEIU Local 721 stole personnel information from San Bernardino Public Employees Association to harass employees It seems that the SEIU Local 721 has taken their notoriously aggressive tactics to the next level: The SEIU, illegally, took the private personnel information of San Bernardino County employees—email address, cell phone number, home […]

Cedric Hughes, Former SEIU Local 721 Treasurer, Swipes $15K from Union

cedric-earl-hughes-seiu-local-721-uupFormer Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 721 Treasurer Cedric Hughes was indicted for five counts of wire fraud and a count of embezzlement.

Less than two months after SEIU Local 6434 President Tyrone Ricky Freeman was sentenced to three years in jail, yet another SEIU official is being indicted for fraud and embezzlement. Cedric Hughes is the latest in a line of corrupt SEIU officials who found the money too good not to steal:

Hughes, who served in his position from March 2009 through June 2010, wrote unauthorized checks to himself and made unauthorized cash withdrawals and debit card transactions with the union’s debit card totaling $15,194. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Los Angeles District Office.

While Cedric Hughes’ embezzlement didn’t quite reach the levels of money that Tyrone Freeman’s, his betrayal of trust is no less concerning to SEIU membership. As Staff Union Treasurer, Hughes had access to the Chase Bank account for the United Union Professionals, the Staff Union for SEIU Local 721. According to the indictment filed in the Central District of California US District Court (full document at end of this article), it was this account Hughes treated as a personal credit card:

In order to conceal the withdrawals from officers at UUP and to continue making withdrawals undetected, defendant HUGHES knowingly and falsely told UUP officers that the checkbook and other financial records for the UUP Chase Account had gone missing when defendant HUGHES’s truck was stolen.

The lengths Hughes went to in order to conceal his fraud can only be described as brazen. Not only did Hughes knowingly misappropriate union funds for personal use, but he went so far as to lie to the officers of the staff union. While the indictment doesn’t mention whether his truck was actually stolen, Cedric Hughes actions cast doubt on his entire character.

The fact that Hughes is, at a minimum, the third SEIU official to be charged with embezzling union funds in 2013 points to serious issues within SEIU’s management and oversight. Unless changes are made, we expect to see even more of these stories in 2014. As we said with Tyrone Freeman, Cedric Hughes would’ve never gotten away with what he did without a complacence atmosphere of SEIU corruption telling him that it was okay.

Former Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 721 Treasurer Cedric Hughes was indicted for five counts of wire fraud and a count of embezzlement. Less than two months after SEIU Local 6434 President Tyrone Ricky Freeman was sentenced to three years in jail, yet another SEIU official is being indicted for fraud and embezzlement. Cedric […]