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.

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