Earlier this month, I wrote about Brent Southwell, the accountant-turned-janitorial business owner, who grew a small company to the sixth largest janitorial contractor in Houston, Texas only to be bullied by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Southwell’s company, Professional Janitorial Services (PJS) successfully sued the union in a defamation lawsuit and was awarded $5.3 million in damages.

SEIU claimed PJS mistreated its employees and stole money from their paychecks, despite a report by the Department of Labor that made clear the claims were false. The union’s motivation was that it had secured collective bargaining for the other five largest janitorial companies in Houston, but PJS wasn’t bowing to pressure and condemned SEIU’s grossly unfair voting practices for its employees. The jury saw through the union’s double standard of claiming to be on the side of workers, yet, attempting to destroy a company that employed so many.

Southwell’s fight is far from over, but his success so far against a powerful union backed by the federal government is a testament to this man’s resolve to fight tyranny. Brent became one of the first, if not the first, to ever beat the SEIU in a jury trial. Here’s the latest in his case:

  • PJS is requesting an additional $2.5 million in interest on top of the $5.3 million jury award
  • Filed a federal lawsuit against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to terminate its “union walk-around” rule. The suit, financed by the Pacific Legal Center, is filed by the National Federation of Independent Business and cites the only known case in America where the Labor Department instructed OSHA inspectors to allow union representatives to enter a non-union workplace (that workplace was PJS, of course)
  • Is preparing a petition for the DA in Harris County to investigate apparent perjury by a former SEIU legal counsel who testified at the trial.
  • Defeated the National Labor Relations Board in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. The NLRB appealed PJS’ victory that prevents the agency from forcing PJS to abandon the arbitration clause in its employment agreements.

What’s next? Brent must now defend the jury verdict because the SEIU plans to appeal. The bottom line is that Brent embarked on a path some time ago to engage his oppressors on every front, and so far is winning on every front. Of course, his legal bills are high, so there is a downside.

However, I am not aware of another privately-held company of comparable size that has taken on so much direct attention from unions and the government, and then beat them all. That’s a good day in anyone’s book.

Brent’s testimony is attached below. It anticipated and laid bare every rebuttal the unions offered and it’s a must-read!

PJS Senate Testimony 2016

About The Author

Mark Meckler

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at MarkMeckler.com, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

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