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CHARLYCE BOZZELLO: A Labor Union Might Be The Worst Employer In The Country

REUTERS/Mike Segar

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Charlyce Bozzello Charlyce Bozzello is the communications director at the Center for Union Facts, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to transparency and accountability in today’s labor movement.
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Ahead of Labor Day, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has organized protests across the country demanding fair treatment for its members. But when it comes to bad employers, the SEIU just might be the worst.

A few months ago, employees at the SEIU’s national headquarters voted to authorize a strike against their union employer. Amid stalled contract negotiations, employees called out the SEIU for its union-busting tactics and refusal to bargain in good faith. Those complaints should ring a bell for the SEIU – a union that doesn’t hesitate to accuse the companies it organizes of the very same offenses.

This isn’t the first time staff has called the union out for its hypocritical employment practices. Back in 2019, the union employees – represented by the Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 2 – launched a pressure campaign against the SEIU. They even hung a banner over the union’s national headquarters that read “SEIU Stop Union busting bargain a fair contract.” (RELATED: ALFREDO ORTIZ: New Jobs Report Proves That Bidenomics Is Failing American Workers)

Apparently, the fish rots from the head. Last year, employees at LA-based SEIU Local 2015 protested the union for similar union-busting tactics. One protester accused the union’s HR manager of driving her pickup truck through a picket line. He claimed, “she hit me…If I would have taken a slip, she would have ran me over.”

A common concern is the SEIU’s push to replace full-time, unionized employees with outside contractors. Fewer full-time employees translate into a less robust staff union for the SEIU to contend with. In fact, the SEIU had 133 unionized staffers working at its national headquarters in 2009. Just a decade later, that number dropped to under 60. The SEIU has criticized other employers for implementing such tactics, but doesn’t seem to hold itself to the same standard.

Unfortunately, that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to hypocrisy at the SEIU. Employees note that a toxic work environment and poor leadership run rampant at the union.

Anonymous posts on Glassdoor give an idea of the employee experience. One commented that they were “treated like trash” while another said, “I was routinely instructed to break the law as a course of my work, from trespassing to property destruction. Another employee claimed the union was “totally devoid of credible leadership, both senior staff and elected.”

Of particular concern, a report in 2019 detailed several SEIU leaders who faced sexual harassment and misconduct allegations. Perhaps more disconcerting, many of these allegations went unanswered while those accused continue to work at the union. (LINDA MCMAHON: It’s Not A Happy Labor Day For American Workers Under Biden’s Economy)

SEIU 721 Organizing Director Marin Manteca kept his position after more than a dozen women testified that he was guilty of sexual harassment and would become physically confrontational with them. Two top officials at SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West – one of  the union’s largest locals in California – are still with the SEIU after multiple accusations of sexual misconduct. Another former leader at SEIU 32BJ was fired from the union for sexual misconduct only to be hired by an SEIU affiliate in California.

You’d think employees at one of the nation’s largest unions could expect better than accusations of harassment, union busting, and an overall brutal work environment. To find a boss really worth protesting this Labor Day, the SEIU just has to look in the mirror.

Charlyce Bozzello is the communications director at the Center for Union Facts, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to transparency and accountability in today’s labor movement.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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