Sunday, September 30, 2012

Staffers at the 'Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions' Describe John August's Abuses

After posting information about John August's sexual harassment scandal, Tasty received multiple emails from staffers at the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions where John August is the Executive Director.

So... Tasty decided to recruit a crew of volunteers to carefully interview the staffers, who have paint a picture that's far more serious than earlier reports.

Interestingly, the staffers' accounts are virtually identical. In some cases, they independently described the same incidents in excruciating, identical detail. Of course, Tasty doesn’t have the means to independently verify each staffer’s claims, but their stories match up and they’ve given no reason to doubt their truthfulness.

So here’s what the staffers say:

They confirm that August has had multiple sexual affairs with women, including rank-and-file SEIU members, union staffers, women unconnected to SEIU, and at least one current member of SEIU's International Executive Board.

The staffers also report that August has even targeted his sexual advances at Coalition staffers who're single moms. Why? One staffer put it this way: "These women need these jobs. Where else can you get paid so much money for not doing much work." In fact, Tasty reviewed the Coalition’s annual financial filings with the U.S. Department of Labor and, in 2011, many of the Coalition’s Field Staffers earned $140,000 while a "Meeting Planner" earned $105,000. 

The staffers also report that August's sexual harassment has a definite “predatory” quality. Basically, as August pursues women, he seems to enjoy “the hunt” as much as “the kill.” And they say August’s years-long pattern of sexual harassment and inappropriate affairs with union members are widely known by top officials at SEIU and the Coalition.

In addition to August's sexual affairs, the staffers point to another set of problems:  his abusive behavior towards the Coalition's staff.

They say August has serious anger-management problems and that he targets certain staffers with angry verbal attacks and abusive, retaliatory campaigns. They say he has a kind of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” personality. Basically, he can be warm towards a particular staffer, but if the staffer somehow gets on his bad side (for example, by resisting his sexual advances), then August reportedly unleashes unending abuse – including aggressive confrontations and singling them out for public humiliation during staff meetings.

One female staffer describes how August pulled her into a one-on-one meeting, and then yelled and screamed at her so furiously that spit was flying out of his mouth as he aggressively pointed his finger in her face. The staffer says, “It was vicious.” She says she basically went into shock after the meeting. “I’ve never felt so humiliated and demeaned,” she reports. After the meeting, she says, August then subjected her to months of unrelenting harassment.

Another staffer describes how, during staff meetings, August would take individual staffers into a room where the other staffers could hear him screaming and yelling at them from behind closed doors. She describes one scene where a sobbing staffer collapsed to a hallway floor after witnessing one of August’s verbal assaults against her co-worker.

Apparently, the victims of August’s abusive attacks are virtually all women, and staffers believe August may suffer from some sort of gender-based pathology that’s connected to his predatory sexual behavior towards women.

Another staffer reports that August’s history of abuse is well known by SEIU’s top officials. In fact, when August was a top official at SEIU 1199 Pennsylvania (now known as “SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania”), he was reportedly required to take anger-management classes after staffers complained about his behavior.

Furthermore, staffers have reportedly filed multiple formal complaints against August with SEIU President Mary Kay Henry, the Coalition’s board of directors, the AFL-CIO, and even government oversight agencies, where at least one investigation is apparently underway.

Despite these complaints, top union officials have refused to take any action against August. One staffer put it this way: “He has no one to check him. He can do whatever he wants because the board doesn’t do anything.”

One former staffer said her main concern is stopping August's abuses:  “We just want it to stop. What hurts the most is knowing it’s happening to other people.”

So... Tasty would like to make an appeal to any conscientious lawyers out there. These women need help! The Coalition’s board of directors (which includes SEIU’s Mary Kay Henry) has refused to exercise any sort of responsibility despite knowing about years’ of abuses by August.

Furthermore, the fat-cat executives at Kaiser Permanente arguably bear substantial responsibility for August's ongoing abuses. A huge portion of August's salary is funded by the multi-billion-dollar HMO, and Kaiser gives August a fancy, rent-free office inside Kaiser's national corporate headquarters in Oakland! Kaiser's President and Chief Operating Officer, Bernard Tyson, even makes flashy videos with August. Finally, Tasty hears that Kaiser's execs have direct knowledge of August's sexually predatory behavior.

So... what do you say, lawyers?

Interested attorneys should contact Tasty at   It's time to put a stop to August's abuses!!