A former organizer of the disruptive, “Fight for $15” labor union demonstrations recently confessed that sexual harassment was rampant at liberal labor union, Service Employees International Union (SEIU). She came forward, under conditions of anonymity, to describe how nepotism is used to protect the most egregious offenders.
The organizer detailed how two union bosses regularly, and aggressively, sexually harassed her. Recently, SEIU President, Mary Kay Henry was forced to suspend EVP of the Union, Scot Courtney, over a torrent of harassment allegations. The union had told the sources that it had launched a thorough investigation into Courtney, though they declined to elaborate any more about the nature of the allegations.
This whistle blower comes a time when SEIU is buckling under at least seven separate allegations of sexual harassment of female subordinates within the organization by its powerful bosses. Describing her ordeal, the former organizer told media that she had reported her supervisors to the union’s human resources division, but she found out that she never got any proper response. She recalled that women in HR were receptive to her complaint, but nothing changed.
The whistle blower explained, “His behavior didn’t change. He had an attitude of entitlement and misogyny and the feeling he could get away with really egregious comments. Most HR processes for investigating sexual harassment [represent] a culture of protecting the organization.”
Reacting to the allegations, the union responded, “SEIU takes all questions related to conduct of elected officers very seriously. I can confirm that President Henry has suspended International Executive Vice President Scott Courtney from his assigned duties as an officer of SEIU. This decision was made as part of an on-going inquiry that was called for by President Henry. As this inquiry is ongoing, no conclusions have been reached as yet and we continue to gather information.”
Another SEIU employee had a harsher response than the union official, saying, “Sexual harassment is unacceptable in any workplace, but it’s particularly disturbing to learn that an organization dedicated to protecting workers has allowed a culture of harassment and abuse to flourish within its ranks. The SEIU must immediately move to fire Courtney, and conduct a review of the organization’s sexual harassment policies. This is wholly unacceptable, and the SEIU leadership must act quickly to ensure that it never happens again.”