Washington—The Service Employees International Union suspended executive vice president Scott Courtney—a key figure in the union’s “Fight for 15” campaign—on Oct. 16 pending an investigation of his relationships with women working for him. SEIU President Mary Kay Henry sent staff an email Oct. 18 saying that there had been questions about Courtney “relating to a romantic relationship between a staff person and a supervisor.” “Just as we fight to make change in our society, we know that our organization should reflect the kind of just society that we fight for across the country,” she wrote. Several current and former SEIU employees told Bloomberg News that he had a pattern of dating subordinates, possibly including rewarding them, that had already led to an internal ethics complaint. “The climate he created was hostile to women, and ultimately it didn’t stop with him,” said one former staffer, who she felt pressured by him into agreeing to have dinner. Courtney said he was “in no position to respond at this time” because he was on his honeymoon with his new wife, an SEIU organizer—who posted “I will not apologize for getting married” on Twitter and Facebook. Read more


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