Interviews and testimony from dozens of union employees describe the Service Employees International Union and its prominent locals as being “plagued by sexual misconduct scandals.”
Bad behavior by top union officials was reportedly well-known among staff, but often swept under the rug by union leaders. Many of the accused continue to hold high-ranking positions at the union.
“Top officers… including President Mary Kay Henry, have not only failed to take action against sexual predators in its union but have actually promoted some men after being accused of sexual misconduct.”
VICTIMS PUNISHED FOR SPEAKING OUT
“I have been bullied, harassed, and targeted and nothing has been done.”
Victims of SEIU abuse claim they were silenced by the very union that was supposed to protect them. Several employees felt their attempts to speak up about misconduct either went unanswered or caused them to face retaliation from union leaders.
The union even filed a lawsuit against one whistleblower Njoki Woods, who believed she was fired for speaking out. In legal documents from that suit, Woods claims employees were warned that “the SEIU-UHW would ‘go after’ members who made allegations against the union.”
The Alleged Victimizers
- Stan Lyles
- Marcus Hatcher
- Dave Regan
- Chokri BenSaid
- Pedro Malave
- Tyrek D. Lee Sr.
- Martin Manteca
- Scott Courtney
- Kendall Fells
Vice President, SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West
“He texted me two photos of his penis… I couldn’t believe it, and that was the guy running for office in the union.”
“I helped him carry his bags to his room, and then, when we got there, he cornered me in the room. He closed the hotel room door and stood in front of it and started taking off his belt. He said something like ‘I know you want it.’ I was so scared–I thought I wouldn’t get out alive.”
“During one of these drives, he [Lyles] began complimenting my body and then grabbed my upper thigh…”
According to legal documents, Lyles has been accused of sexual misconduct by several female staff members. One former union organizer believes she was terminated from her 27-year job with the union for turning down Lyles’ sexual advances. Another claimed Lyles assaulted her in an elevator.
SEIU LEADERS FAILED TO PROTECT EMPLOYEES
“It’s just clear that Mary Kay Henry and the [SEIU] International does not take the issue seriously.”
Evidence suggests SEIU President Mary Kay Henry was aware of the sexual misconduct and abuse being reported at the SEIU and its local unions. Yet, very little was done in response.
Staffers claimed their attempts to report misconduct to the International union were ignored. When Daria Alladio reached out to the International to find out why her assaulter Pedro Malave was still being hired by SEIU affiliates, she received no response.
Mindy Sturge, who is currently suing the SEIU-UHW for harassment, said she reached out to the International twice to no avail.
SPEAK OUT AGAINST ABUSE
In the 2018 election, the SEIU spent over $40 million on political advocacy, the majority of which went to left-leaning organizations, the Democratic party, and Democratic candidates.
But while political candidates continue to vie for campaign support from the SEIU, the union’s own staff are afraid to stand up for their safety.
This election cycle, will our politicians stand up to the SEIU and give the union’s victims a voice?
“Staff members are afraid to speak out, and prior complaints about some of the men who created this hostile environment have gone nowhere.”