Tally: Four SEIU Officials Out of a Job Because of Sexual Misconduct Charges

May Day SEIU (Sandy Huffaker / Getty)
Sandy Huffaker / Getty

What started as a Hollywood scandal centered on movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and his serial abuse of women, then spread to include members of the media and even politicians on Capitol Hill, now has hit one of the nation’s largest labor unions.

The number of top officials at the Service Employees International Union who have resigned or been fired now totals four, according to BuzzFeed News.

Late last month the union’s Executive Vice President Scott Courtney resigned.

“This morning, President Mary Kay Henry accepted Scott Courtney’s resignation as an elected officer and member of SEIU,” Sahar Wali, spokesperson for the SEIU, said in an email to BuzzFeed News.

Kendall Fells, organizing director of the “Fight for $15″ minimum wage campaign, resigned on Thursday morning and Mark Raleigh, the head of the campaign’s Detroit chapter, was fired, according to BuzzFeed News.

Along with Caleb Jennings, head of the “Fight for $15” Chicago chapter, who was fired for misconduct and abusive behavior, the number of SEIU officials leaving the union continues to rise, Fox News reported.

“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,” Wali said in a statement to BuzzFeed News.

“We know that progress does not stop with these personnel actions alone,” Wali said. “President Henry has taken important steps toward ensuring that our workplace environment reflects our values and that all staff is respected, their contributions are valued, and their voices are heard.”

The scandal comes after the SEUI gained momentum in recent years with its “Fight for $15” minimum wage campaign.

BuzzFeed News reported:

The “Fight for $15” minimum wage campaign, which began with fast food workers in New York in 2012 and has since spread across industries reliant on minimum-wage work, has been the SEIU’s most visible and successful campaign in recent years. Fells has been a key organizer on the ground since the beginning.

The service workers union, the nation’s second largest and a major player in the progressive wing of the Democratic party, represents a majority-female workforce, largely made up of immigrant women and women of color.

“Hollywood’s skeletons may be falling out of the closet, but the movie industry is certainly not alone,” Luka Ladan, communications director at the Center for Union Facts told Fox News. “Despite talking the talk on sexual harassment, the SEIU’s walk has exposed female employees to terrible consequences. Perhaps the union should clean up its glass house before throwing stones at other employers.”


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