Amid a nationwide sexual harassment scandal within the progressive community, the nation’s “most progressive” union–the SEIU–allegedly ignored staff complaints for nearly 20 years!
In the middle of a sexual-harassment scandal that is gripping the progressive community—namely, Hollywood and the media—organized labor is beginning to come to grips with its own sordid problems and how women are treated within their ranks.
However, in a lenghty Bloomberg piece, labor writer Josh Eidelson dropped a bombshell in which he indicated that top officials within the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) knew about misconduct by one of its top officers, and did nothing about it, for nearly 20 years.
Scott Courtney, an executive vice president at SEIU and a key architect of the high-profile “Fight for 15” campaign, resigned in October amid an investigation into alleged “sexual misconduct and abusive behavior.” During a career that spanned decades, people who worked for Courtney say he was known for dating his subordinates. Women warned each other and raised concerns about his behavior with higher-ups over the years, former employees said. Seventeen years ago, dozens of employees presented their concerns about Courtney in writing to national leaders, according to people who participated. [Emphasis added.]
Despite seemingly-already knowing about the allegations, the SEIU has stated that it has begun an “investigation” which has led to the departure of four of the alleged perpetrators.
That investigation also led the union to terminate two members of the senior staff, SEIU said. Another top Fight For 15 leader, Kendall Fells, resigned on Nov. 2. Without commenting individually on the departures, the union said that day that the investigation had “brought to light the serious problems related to abusive behavior towards staff, predominantly female staff.” Fells declined to comment.
“We are incredibly grateful to the people who have come forward,” said SEIU Executive Vice President Leslie Frane, who described the organization’s response as swift and decisive.
Swift and decisive? Perhaps the actions were decisive following a public outcry against other progressives who abused their positions. However, if SEIU bosses knew of inappropriate behavior for nearly 20 years and did nothing them, the actions were definitely not “swift.”