SEIU Fined By WA Attorney General for Campaign Finance Violations
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has been fined a total of $46,806 for failing to disclose millions in campaign contributions, as well as other discrepancies in Washington state.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson said the union will pay over $39,000, with $6,562 of the fine being suspended provided the organization abides by and carefully follows public disclosure laws.
Ferguson launched an investigation into the controversial service workers (fast food) union in July 2015 when the Freedom Foundation lodged a Citizens Action Complaint that the union failed to disclose millions in campaign contributions. The complaint also alleged numerous other political action violations. The union also represents some nurses, building services, security guards and other service industries.
The union, which staged major rallies across the state last April in an effort to unionize fast food workers, and raise the minimum wage to $15, failed to publicly disclose receiving some $1.39 million dollars, as well as other donations made to their Political Action Committee over the last five years.
The rallies were met with mixed results. There were some large turnouts in Seattle and the West side, but a Pasco rally consisted of 2 or 3 people (one of them wearing an SEIU shirt) standing outside the McDonalds on Court St. They were largely ignored by customers and employees. A Spokane rally was poorly attended as well.
According to Ferguson, the judgement also includes a fine for the union's PAC:
"The union’s political action committee, SEIU 775 Quality Care Committee (SEIU 775 PAC), will also pay $6,000, with $1,500 of that suspended as long as it updates its reports and complies with reporting requirements."