Service Employees International Union cut staff after 2016 spending: report

Service Employees International Union cut staff after 2016 spending: report
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The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) spent about $60 million on politics and lobbying and $19 million on the Fight for 15 movement in 2016, according to the Washington Free Beacon, leading to the union trimming staff at its headquarters.

The union spent $61.6 million — about 20 percent of its budget — on political activities and lobbying in 2016, the Washington Free Beacon reported, according to filings to the Department of Labor.

It also spent $19 million on groups and consultants related to the Fight for 15 campaign, which pushed for a national $15 minimum wage, according to the publication.

But the SEIU disputed the reported layoffs on Tuesday. 

"We have just begun the process of considering possible budget cuts and not said anything about layoffs to date," a spokesperson said. "Final decisions about our budget are made by our International Executive Board which is not set to meet until the summer."

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In 2016, the union — which endorsed former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP rushes to cut ties to Moore Papadopoulos was in regular contact with Stephen Miller, helped edit Trump speech: report Bannon jokes Clinton got her ‘ass kicked’ in 2016 election MORE — added about 15,000 members, but its revenue fell by $17 million.

The amount the union spent on political activities and lobbying in 2016 was $13 million more than what it spent during the 2014 midterms. Still, it was less than the $113 million spent by the union during former President Obama's 2012 reelection campaign.

The union is looking to shed 30 percent of its budget in 2017, SEIU President Mary Kay Henry announced in December, after the results of the 2016 presidential race.

"We will prioritize the areas necessary to execute and fund our plans to fight back," Henry said in the memo.

"We must take these necessary actions now to focus our work and our resources on putting our union in the best position to take on the forthcoming attacks, absorb the short-term loses and strengthen ourselves to win big in the future."

Updated 2:02 p.m.