Company now seeking perjury charges be brought against SEIU officials.
HOUSTON, TX—A jury ruled against the Service Employees International Union’s so-called corporate campaign tactics against a janitorial company ordering the union to pay $5.3 million in damages.
The jury’s ruling is the latest in a 10-year battle in which Chicago-based SEIU Local 5 tried unsuccessfully to get Professional Janitorial Services (PJS) to recognize the union as its employees’ bargaining agent without the employees voting in a secret-ballot election.
“The ‘Kill PJS’ campaign was a three-year effort by the SEIU to do exactly what the name suggests,” reports Empower Texas’ Charles Blain. “Throughout that time, the union implemented a three pronged strategy of media collaboration, baseless lawsuits, and union-planted employees in an effort to drive customers away from the janitorial company.”
According to the Washington Free Beacon, “The company filed the suit against the union in 2007, but the trial did not take place until 2016 due to the SEIU’s legal delays.”
The suit alleged that the union’s use of NLRB complaints, as well as its public statements about the way PJS treated its 1,000 employees constituted defamation. The verdict came after a four-week trial, in which jurors heard from numerous labor organizers and attorneys about the union’s tactics for organizing the workforce.
During the jury trial, one of the union’s witnesses—an attorney—testified that he had no knowledge of the SEIU’s Contract Campaign Manual, the plaintiff’s counsel then introduced evidence that the same union witness was involved in a 2011 lawsuit against the SEIU involving the same allegations.
This, apparently, greatly undermined the SEIU’s defense in the eyes of the jury.
In a statement, PJS added that they “will now ask local prosecutors to investigate apparent perjury by union officials and an attorney who testified in the trial, and will increase its efforts with state legislators to remove the SEIU from eligibility in state-provided union dues collection programs.”
SEIU Local 5 called the jury’s verdict against the union and its tactics “an assault on fundamental rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.”