Two more senior officials at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) are out as a result of an ongoing investigation into the union’s problems with sexual harassment, BuzzFeed reports.
SEIU “Fight For 15” campaign leader Kendall Fells resigned, while Detroit leader Mark Raleigh was fired. Both left the union Thursday.
“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,” an SEIU spokeswoman told BuzzFeed.
SEIU executive vice president Scott Courtney left the union in October after seven women who worked with him spoke to BuzzFeed about his history of sleeping with staffers. Staffers who slept with Courtney were promoted soon after, BuzzFeed reported at the time.
One former campaign organizer described a “broad environment of misogyny” at the SEIU when talking with the Washington Free Beacon in October.
“Most HR processes for investigating sexual harassment [represent] a culture of protecting the organization,” she said, describing the response to her reporting management for harassment.
More than a dozen current and former SEIU staffers have now told BuzzFeed that sexual harassment has been endemic in the organization’s culture. The union has formed an external advisory group to investigate potential violations of the union’s nepotism and ethics policy.
“[SEIU President Mary Kay 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 SEIU spokeswoman said.
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