Friday, November 17, 2017

Press: “SEIU Manager Sexually Assaulted Staffer Then Was Rehired at Another SEIU Local”

As revelations emerged about the termination of a top SEIU-UHW official over sexual misconduct, a second story hit the press about another SEIU-UHW staffer allegedly involved in sexual harassment and assault.

In 2014, Pedro Malave was removed from his job as the Assistant Director at SEIU 32BJ Local 615 in Boston over sexual assaults against a female co-worker, according to journalist Mike Elk writing in Payday Report. (Mike Elk, “SEIU Manager Sexually Assaulted Staffer Then Was Rehired at Another SEIU Local,” Payday Report)

The following year, however, officials at SEIU-UHW hired him into a management position as a “Coordinator,” according to records from the Department of Labor. Later, he went on to work at another California local, SEIU United Service Workers West.

Today, Payday Report announced that SEIU United Service Workers West has fired Malave in the wake of the publication's first article. (Mike Elk, “SEIU Fires Staffer Who Sexually Assaulted Another Staffer Following Payday Investigation,” Payday Report)

Elk’s initial article includes detailed quotes from Malave’s victim, an Administrative Coordinator at the Boston union. After one assault, in which Malave attempted to masturbate in her face, she said the following about her work life:
"I felt anxious and nauseous most of the time. I didn't want to be there. I didn't want to see him face-to-face. I didn't want to have him look at me. I just felt disgusted by the situation and the anxiety grew around the fact that it was likely going to happen on a daily basis, considering my job role at the union."

The article continues:
Later in 2015, [the Administrative Coordinator] would discover that Malave would go on to get a job with SEIU again as an organizer with SEIU United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) in California. Since then, Malave has moved on to work as a regional field coordinator for a separate SEIU local, SEIU United Service Workers West (SEIU-USWW).
 Neither SEIU-USWW or SEIU-UHW returned Payday’s requests for comment.

In the article, the Administrative Coordinator expresses special frustration about Malave’s rehiring by SEIU locals after being removed for sexual assault.
Malave was able to obtain this work despite repeated efforts by [the Administrative Coordinator] and others in her Boston local to ensure that Malave would have a permanent record placed in his file so that he could never work again for SEIU.
“More than being upset about what happened with Pedro, I was really frustrated with how SEIU handled the situation,” [she said]. 

She is now part of an effort of current and past SEIU staffers “who are launching a campaign to pressure SEIU to take more concrete steps to prevent sexual harassment and assault,” says the article. “The organizers have launched an email address and encourage women to contact them confidentially to share their stories and organize against sexual harassment and assault.”