SEIU branch in Texas declares bankruptcy
After losing a lawsuit and facing a $7.8-million judgment, Service Employees International Union Texas, alias SEIU District Five, has declared bankruptcy in order to escape the judgment. The plaintiff is going after the national union, as it should, so stand by for lots more court appeals, So far, the SEIU is losing at every step.
Bill McMorris has an excellent account of the case and its background at the Free Beacon. I recommend it.
The bare bones of the story of this case paint a picture of a thuggish organization, in my opinion. It expanded into Texas by sending representatives down to fresh turf in Houston, and once there, they took advantage of undemocratic procedures that deprive workers of a secret ballot. And abuse the courts to coerce its target, Professional Janitorial Services Houston (PJS), in my opinion:
SEIU Texas was formed by workers from the Chicago-based SEIU Local 1, which sent organizers to the state to rally employees in the janitorial and service sectors to join the union. Those organizers waged a three-year organizing campaign to pressure PJS into accepting card check unionization rather than a secret ballot election organized by the National Labor Relations Board, the top federal labor arbiter. The union filed 19 unfair labor practice complaints to the NLRB over the course of its campaign, a popular delaying and pressure tactic utilized by union organizers. All of those complaints were dismissed or withdrawn.
The janitorial company filed its initial suit in 2007 and was awarded over $5.3 million in damages by a jury. On September 26, a district judge ordered the union to hand over an additional $2.5 million for interest accrued during the lengthy legal proceedings. The company said in a release that a bankruptcy declaration does not allow the union to duck the jury’s decision about the cost of its actions.
“The jury determined SEIU owes PJS a lot of money, and there is no way they can pretend to be broke based on what we now know,” PJS President Floyd Mahanay said in a statement. “The only question is how long they want to drag this out while we make sure every business in Texas joins our cause.”
The SEIU is a pillar of the Democratic Party and represents many government workers.