SEIU Texas Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy after Losing Millions to Janitorial Company

by San Antonio Attorney

Service Employees International Union Texas filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after losing a costly lawsuit for its dubious accusations against a janitorial company in Houston.

SEIU Texas was ordered to pay $7.8 million to Professional Janitorial Service of Houston in September for making untrue claims regarding the company at a campaign to get support from local activists and workers.

The union requested for a mistrial in November but a judge disapproved it and ordered to submit the necessary documents to the company for discovery.

According to the union, they filed for bankruptcy to protect the interests of the group’s members from the expensive judgment.

Brent Southwell, the janitorial company’s CEO, said it intends to persist to obtain information from the SEIU to make sure that it is not concealing funds to avoid the jury award. According to him, the company could go after the national office of SEIU, which has over 1.5 million members, in the event the Texas chapter does not settle the judgment.

SEIU Texas was created by SEIU Chicago, which provided organizers to Texas to gather workers in the janitorial services companies to become part of the union. The same organizers carried out a three-year campaign to force PJS into complying with card check unionization instead of a secret ballot voting prepared by the National Labor Relations Board, which is the main arbiter. A total of 19 complaints against the company were filed by the union to the NLRB all throughout the campaign. Those complaints were withdrawn and dismissed.

The PJS filed its first lawsuit in 2007 and was granted more than $5.3 million in damages. Last September, a district judge told the union to give an added $2.5 million for interest accumulated throughout the prolonged legal proceedings. Filing for bankruptcy will not prevent the union from avoiding the jury’s decision regarding the consequences of its malicious actions, the janitorial company said in a statement.

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