Report: SEIU’s Massive Political Spending in 2016 Forces Staff Cuts

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is laying off staff at their Washington, DC headquarters after the organization spent $61 million on political activities and $19 million on the Fight for $15 movement, according to a new report.

The organization’s recent filings with the Department of Labor revealed that the union spent 61.6 million, 20 percent of its annual budget of $314.6 million on political activities that included support Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential bid, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

Even though the union picked up 15,000 new members in 2016, the new members were not enough to offset the organization’s decline in revenue. That decline has led to staff layoffs at the union’s DC headquarters to make up the difference.

According to the report, the union spent $13 million more on political activities then what they spent in 2014, but $51 million less than what they spent during former President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.

The SEIU, which represents two million employees working in the public sector, service, and health care industries, planned to cut its budget by 30 percent after President Donald Trump won the 2016 election against Hillary Clinton, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.

SEIU president Mary Kay Henry called for a shift in the organization’s strategy following the election, branding Trump and the GOP-led Congress as the “far-right.”

“Because the far right will control all three branches of the federal government, we [The SEIU] will face serious threats to the ability of working people to join together in unions,” Henry said in a December 14, 2016 internal memo obtained by Bloomberg.

The SEIU endorsed Clinton for president in November 2015, despite calls from many union members to back Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for his pledge to raise the minimum wage to $15, which Clinton did not fully support.


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