Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

SEIU-UHW’s Anti-Israel Leadership

Leadership at the Service Employees International Union – United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) has been under fire for allegations of toxic work culture and sexual misconduct. But it looks like the union’s issues also extend to anti-Israel rhetoric from its top ranks.

Recently discovered material on the union’s leadership and its staff suggest the large SEIU local carries significant anti-Israel sentiment. Discovered material ranges from reposting anti-Israel conspiracies to signing a petition that laments the world’s only Jewish state as the “genocidal entity known as Israel.”

SEIU-UHW Division Director Chokri BenSaid – who has been accused of sexual misconduct – is the most prominent anti-Israel activist at the union. In March 2024, BenSaid reposted an anti-Israel conspiracy theory on his Facebook account claiming that Israel is occupying the entire world. 

Previously, BenSaid failed to issue a social media response to the slaughter of Israeli’s on Oct. 7, 2023, but was quick to call out Israel’s response to the attack by labeling it a “terrorist” country. 

BenSaid is unfortunately not the only anti-Israel advocate at the SEIU-UHW. Executive Board Member Gabriel Montoya has also shared his radical views on the issue. 

Montoya took part in a protest at the SEIU’s convention in May, where raucous protesters accused Vice President Kamala Harris of “funding genocide.”

Montoya even spread a false conspiracy theory that Jesus was a Palestinian, not a Jew. 

Just days prior, Montoya posted the anti-Israel slogan, “From the river to the sea!!!”

In addition to BenSaid and Montoya, at least 12 SEIU-UHW staff signed on to a movement called “Purple Up 4 Palestine.” The group supports Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel and refers to the country as the “genocidal entity known as Israel”

Purple Up 4 Palestine also referred to Hamas terrorists as “Palestinians fighting genocide” and claimed that any allegations of “sexual abuse” against the terrorist group had been debunked and were racist. 

Statement from Purple Up 4 Palestine:

“We are also recommending a NO vote to Resolutions #106 & #205. The member-led Resolution #201 takes into account the decades of colonization, occupation, & resistance – while the other resolutions erase history, conflate the colonizer with the colonized, and even repeat debunked, racist claims that Palestinians fighting genocide are sexual abusers.”

The objectionable language the group took offense to? 

Resolution #106:

“We condemn the horrific attacks by Hamas on October 7, 2023 that killed over 1,200 Israelis and others, abducted 240 people, and included unconscionable acts of sexual violence and other atrocities.”


Categories: SEIUUncategorized