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Phase Two In Push To ‘Abolish the Police’: Isolate Police Unions From Labor Movement

Phase Two In Push To ‘Abolish the Police’: Isolate Police Unions From Labor Movement

“Union locals and progressive factions within larger unions have taken up the call.”

The recent efforts to oust police unions from the larger labor movement are alarming.  Not because I am a fan of public unions, I’m not, but because of what it reveals about the tactics of the left in demonizing, isolating, and eventually destroying their target du jour.

In Seattle, the Martin Luther King Labor Council removed the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) from its membership.

New York Magazine reports:

Less than two weeks after Seattle police nearly killed a protester with a flash bang to the chest, a local labor council has expelled their union. The Martin Luther King Labor Council, a powerful organizing body that lobbies for pro-labor policies and candidates, voted to remove the Seattle Police Officers Guild, or SPOG, on Wednesday evening. “Any union that is part of our labor council needs to be actively working to dismantle racism in their institution and society at large. Unfortunately, the Seattle Police Officer’s Guild has failed to do that work and are no longer part of our council,” the council tweeted after the vote.

SPOG could eventually rejoin the MLK Labor Council if it meets accountability criteria set for it by its peer unions. But it doesn’t seem much inclined to try.

Local NBC News affiliate reports that in the days leading up the vote, SPOG had failed to meet several demands sent to it by the council. Among them was a requirement for SPOG to put out a statement acknowledging “that racism is a structural problem in our society and in law enforcement that until addressed creates undue harm on Black and BIPOC communities.” The council had also asked SPOG leaders to meet with members of its executive council and to participate in a planned “working space” to address racism within the police union.

So what?, you might be thinking.  Well, in terms of this particular move, I’d have to agree that “so what?” seems a sensible response. Still, in terms of the more considerable significance of this move, of the creep that it signals, this move is something to note as we attempt to analyze and forestall the totalitarian movement that is threatening to overtake our country.

Many of us warned when the radical left started going after Confederate statues that it would not end there. Still, many people, including Republicans, were eager to jump on that careening train as it aimed at our nation’s foundations, at America herself.

Were Republican governors and mayors (and members of Congress) who spoke out against and/or agreed to remove Confederate statues and the Confederate flag acting in solidarity with the radical left’s goal—the destruction of capitalism and America?  My guess is no.

Instead, I think they believed that appeasing these radical lunatics would work, that appeasement for the first time in the history of the world would suddenly stop the madness.  This calls into question their judgment and ability to lead, of course, but it doesn’t make them anti-American any more than Neville Chamberlain’s spineless appeasement made him anti-British.

These Republican voices, however, gave much-needed credence to the calls, initially, to abolish all evidence of the Confederacy from American history.

Similarly, the move to alienate police unions from the broader labor movement is functioning to provide legitimacy to the radical left’s genuinely insane and unspeakably dangerous goal, the abolition of police across our nation.

This effort by organized labor to isolate police unions is very much different than Black Lives Matters and their assorted communist, socialist, and anarchist comrades taking to the streets to riot, loot, commit arson and murder, and tear down and deface all symbols of America.  This is organized labor jumping in with both feet to undermine law enforcement, one of the targets of the raging, rampaging mobs.

It’s not just in Seattle that police unions are under attack.  Indeed, there is a growing movement to completely isolate them from all others, including the public sector, unions.

For now, AFL-CIO leader Richard Trumka is defending police unions as calls intensify for the powerful national labor coalition to oust police unions from its ranks.

As the AFL-CIO struggles with a growing debate over its alignment with police unions, the disagreement inside of the labor coalition itself is becoming more pointed. At an internal meeting of the Executive Council on Friday, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka spoke out against the idea of kicking police unions out of the coalition—confusingly, by comparing them to the employers that unions bargain against.

In an exchange with a union president who spoke out forcefully against the historic role of police as foes of labor, Trumka defended the police as “community friendly,” and argued that if unions could learn to work with employers to handle contentious issues, they should be able to do the same with cops and their unions.

. . . . The AFL-CIO, a coalition of 55 unions representing 12.5 million members, has found itself in the center of the controversy. On June 8—a week after the AFL-CIO’s Washington headquarters was burned during a protest—the Writers Guild of America, East, an AFL-CIO member union, passed a formal resolution calling on the AFL-CIO to disaffiliate from the International Union of Police Associations, the coalition’s police union member.

The leadership of the AFL-CIO received the resolution unenthusiastically. They immediately put out a statement saying that they “take a different view when it comes to the call for the AFL-CIO to cut ties with IUPA. …We believe the best way to use our influence on the issue of police brutality is to engage our police affiliates rather than isolate them.” Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler, Trumka’s second-in-command, advocated instead developing “codes of excellence” to encourage police unions to change from within.

No matter what Trumka and the AFL-CIO say, though, the push will not stop until the police union is ousted, isolated.

But the issue has not disappeared. Union locals and progressive factions within larger unions have taken up the call. The King County Labor Council expelled the Seattle police union last week, and even SEIU leader Mary Kay Henry, the head of the most powerful union outside of the AFL-CIO, said that disaffiliation “must be considered” if police unions don’t reform. Last Friday, the proposal from the Writers Guild received its first serious and direct discussion at a meeting of the AFL-CIO’s executive council, the elected body that governs the group.

How this plays out is very important on several levels, not the least of which is that the radical left’s conglomerate of highly-organized, exceedingly well-funded jackals are coming for anyone and everyone who thinks wrong thoughts, says the wrong words, or wears the wrong hat or tee-shirt.

They are coming for all of us, and we would do well to watch their tactics and to learn from them.


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This Socialist/Fascist movement is not going to end well for freedom loving people.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to dystopia. | June 24, 2020 at 9:46 am

    Only if they win, we need to start culling Marxists. THey have not minded culling their opponents when they have power to do so.

    Milhouse in reply to dystopia. | June 25, 2020 at 9:33 am

    This Socialist/Fascist movement is not going to end well for freedom loving people.

    That’s been obvious for over 150 years now…

Limitations on Public Sector Unions could be a positive step toward more efficient and effective governance.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Romey. | June 24, 2020 at 9:49 am

    That would leave police officers completely at the mercy of sleazy politicians.

      Milhouse in reply to JusticeDelivered. | June 25, 2020 at 9:36 am

      More often the sleazy politicians are on the union’s side. The problem with public sector unions in general is that they get their own people elected, and then when they negotiate the union is on both sides of the table.

        PaulM in reply to Milhouse. | June 25, 2020 at 11:14 am

        The Police don’t really need a Union to do that, Milhouse.

        They could accomplish much of that by forming a PAC or similar non-union group.

    starride in reply to Romey. | June 24, 2020 at 10:00 am

    In truth the only public sector careers that need union protection are police the emergency services. All others are just profitable businesses.

      No, there are many public sector jobs that really need unions, if nothing else for the support that you can’t get from employers, who have a tendency to dump controversy like a hot rock.
      -Teachers – Trigger a internet snowflake with one minor phrase and the school gets bombarded with demands for your firing.
      -Anything with ‘inspector’ in the title – After any bridge failure or building fault, even if caused by outside forces, the City goes straight for their throats.

      There’s a reason Federal civil service/law enforcement has serious protections in it for employees charged in this fashion.

        I don’t disagree with your points, but you can extend the argument to ALL employees in ALL industries. What makes cops, teachers, etc. special? There should be no public unions, period. The graft and corruption that they generate and sloth that they encourage far outweigh the negatives that you cited.

          Tom Servo in reply to MTED. | June 24, 2020 at 2:35 pm

          I agree with you, and it makes me ambivalent about the entire issue. ALL government unions, including police and fire, are an abomination on our system that should never have been allowed. If we can get rid of them, we have a lever to use to start getting rid of the rest.

          I support police, but I don’t support your unions, and it’s too bad your own allies are going after you now.

        EdisonCarter in reply to georgfelis. | June 24, 2020 at 12:01 pm

        There are many government positions that need protection from easily swayed politicians, but that should be handled by statute, not by collective bargaining. The problem with collective bargaining is that the unions are very active in elections. Politicians who nominally negotiate on behalf of the people are often to weak to stand up to union pressure so the public’s needs for accountability from police (or teachers for that matter) get subordinated to local electoral politics.

          rocky71 in reply to EdisonCarter. | June 25, 2020 at 10:30 pm

          “There are many government positions that need protection from easily swayed politicians, but that should be handled by statute”

          Sure- have the protection determined by those the employees need protection from. If that’s not the fox guarding the henhouse I don’t see how anything could be…

        4fun in reply to georgfelis. | June 24, 2020 at 9:57 pm

        Public unions should be outlawed. They’re democrat voting blocs. It’s why they hate right to work laws. Without forced dues payments they don’t have the bribe money for politicians.

nordic_prince | June 24, 2020 at 7:42 am

Radical groups: The system is racist.

Normal people: I disagree. I don’t accept your premises.

Radical groups: See? The very fact that you disagree proves it. Oh, and you’re racist.

Normal people: I disagree. I don’t accept your premises.

Radical groups: Yup. Your disagreement shows you’re in deep denial because of your white privilege. Therefore you’re racist. We will destroy you.


Such reasoning might make sense to a three-year-old, but unfortunately we’re not dealing with three-year-olds, nor are we dealing with logical people. It does not matter what we say or do – if we don’t agree with them, if we don’t acquiesce to their demands, we are “racist” and therefore part of the problem.

There is no middle ground with this demonic thinking – and make no mistake: it IS demonic, since its goal is destruction.

    alohahola in reply to nordic_prince. | June 24, 2020 at 10:02 am

    People really need to be okay with being called “racist” or any name in the book.

    MajorWood in reply to nordic_prince. | June 24, 2020 at 11:52 am

    See my post in the Oregon mask thread. That is almost verbatim how the argument wentwith my neighbor, and she is a pre-school teacher, so her mind was finely honed by discussions with 3yo.

    As for the BLM thing, I told her I had a problem with a movement that purports that “all black lives matter,” but then they ignore the 90% who are killed by other blacks and only focus on the under 1% who are killed by white police officers. Seriously, do the others really “not matter” and can she name any of the 18 black people murdered over the weekend in Chicago alone? I don’t think that white supremacy is the bigger issue here. I was amazed that she didn’t stroke out right then and there.

legacyrepublican | June 24, 2020 at 8:28 am

I never thought I would see the day when the SEIU would eat their own.

Hope they choke on it.

Bruce Hayden | June 24, 2020 at 8:52 am

I will take a contrary view – that they are shooting themselves in their feet, by evicting police unions. And that is because police (and maybe fire) unions have some level of legitimacy. I think that you can make an argument that police unions are necessary if you want police running towards the gunfire, instead of cowering behind your vehicle, when you hear gunfire. We are seeing right now, both in Minneapolis and in Atlanta why police unions might be justified, with prosecutors bringing politicized charges against police because they are demanded by the mob. Don’t expect cops to face gunfire, and draw their own weapons in defense of civilians, if they cannot depend on their union to provide the with representation when they do.

But what is the moral or even economic justification for other public employee unions? To protect incompetence? To drive up wages in a devil’s bargain with Dem politicians? Every year more money is spent on education, while the public schools do a worse and worse job at educating their students. But how does the public benefit from overpaid, unfireable, unionized government employees? From their union monopoly making the ever more overpaid and unfireable? This unholy alliance between unionized government employees and Dem politicians who are partially funded by them, is one of the big reasons that deep blue cities and states are rapidly disintegrating.

So, coming full circle, I might suggest that the argument for government employee unions is at least partly dependent upon the argument that public safety workers, like police, need to be unionized to protect them from city officials and prosecutors too willing to sacrifice the police for short term political advantage. Absent this justification, all that they really have left is their naked pay and benefits grab in trade for their support of Dem politicians, at significant cost to the citizenry paying for their inflated salaries and benefits.

    Actually, public employees are neither over paid nor unfirable.

    Remember the economic collapse of 2008? This was when construction workers and sales reps, who were making over $100,000 a year, suddenly lost their jobs. Who was attacked? The civil servant class making from $25,000 to $80,000 a year. Why? Because they still had jobs. For the preceding several decades, public employees had been making less, in some cases considerably less, than their private sector counterparts. And, of course, there was no outcry to raise their salaries to an equivalent level with the private sector. They traded higher wages for benefits and job security. And, those benefits were not obtained by holding a gun to the head of politicians or kidnapping their families. The politicians willingly gave the public employees future benefits so that they did not have to divert public funds from their own “pet projects”.

    As for being unfirable, this is simply not true. Any public employee can be terminated for just cause, if the disciplinary procedure is followed and the termination is the normal penalty for the offensive act. What happens, iin the public sector, is that government decide to make up their own rules. They fail to follow the agreed upon procedures for discipline and/or they apply a more stringent penalty than can be historically justified. It is not the fault of the public sector employee or his union. It is the fault of the government for which he works. Rules exist for a reason and must be followed and applied evenly.

      SpaceInvader in reply to Mac45. | June 24, 2020 at 5:24 pm

      At no time were average construction workers making 100k per year. The rest of your post is a bunch propaganda as well.

“In Seattle, the Martin Luther King Labor Council removed the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) from its membership.”

It will be fun to watch when the Communists decide to cancel MLK as a white supremacist! Will the Council publicly abase and degrade themselves and disband?

OTOH, the police and fire unions provide the legitimacy for all public unions. Lose that and support for public unions drop significantly.

    SpaceInvader in reply to Dr P. | June 24, 2020 at 5:26 pm

    So what if they lose some support from the people. The only support the unions care about is political support and the politicians are not going to let go of that money train.

Each individual in the private sector should be able to evaluate the costs and benefits of union membership and decide whether they wish to avail themselves of that membership.

Unions were an important part of establishing the body of labor law. Without unions we wouldn’t have OSHA nor various protections for wages, hours worked, child labor.

The successes of the organized labor movement from inception to the early/mid 1970s when coal mining was reformed has in effect left them without a ‘struggle’. They achieved almost every objective, these objectives were adopted into federal and state law, making the original purpose of unions redundant.

Public sector unions are even more unnecessary IMO. An opinion shared by FDR. Public sector employees are protected by civil service rules.

So once the union achieved it’s workplace goals what did they do? They didn’t use members dues to develop training programs run by unions to increase the skills of its membership. Instead they spent the dues on political influence, purchasing power and rent seeking from our political class.

IMO, police will be better off when they disassociate from the larger labor movement. They can then begin to create and implement training and development programs to serve their members.

Anacleto Mitraglia | June 24, 2020 at 11:14 am

OT: your Video of the day.
Jefferson Airplane, White rabbit.
Or, when the commies at least had some talent. That’s fifty years ago!

It does not matter if police unions belong to an umbrella labor union organization or not. The main reason for the existence of police unions is to protect the jobs of its members. The same is true of every public employee union.

Look, when a new mayor or city council is elected, plumbers, electricians, truck drivers and other labor classes do not face the loss of their livelihoods. They are not in danger of losing their jobs because a lobbying group does not like a particular employee. However, this was common practice in the public sector until civil service laws and public unions grew up. So, police unions negotiate for contractual protections for their members and then act as advocates for those members in job actions. As we have seen in Minneapolis, Atlanta, Buffalo and a dozen other places around the country in the last month, governments are flat out violating employee contracts and civil service laws for political purposes. We are seeing, up close and personal, exactly why we have public unions. And, those unions should be separate from the private union organizations.

Gee, if police unions are isolated from Big Labor, who do you suppose they’ll gravitate toward this fall when it comes to endorsements and voting?

I’ll give you a hint: his last name starts with “T”.

In their fanatic quest for purity, and in an election year when every vote will count, all the Democrats/progs are doing is shooting themselves in both feet.

Grrr8 American | June 24, 2020 at 3:09 pm

I would not be surprised to see a broader schism in the labor world.

On one side, you have the bureaucratic government employees (a/k/a “pink collar” employees) and their Progressive-Marxist unions: AFSCME, SEIU and AFT-NEA. They support Collectivism and its Trojan Horse, the “Green New Deal” / “climate change” / “sustainability.”

On the other side, you have industrial and construction unions, whose jobs would be eliminated by the “Green New Deal,” and “blue collar” police and firefighter unions. These are the “working families” that the Progressive-Democrats pay lip-service to, but actually despise as “bitter clingers” and deplorables.

In the end, their interests can’t be reconciled since the “labor movement” is no longer about “capital” vs. “labor,” but Collectivism via “identity politics” and so-called “environmentalism.”

The Republican Party welcomes all police and police unions as supporters and voters.

We have your back.

I’m thinking this may be a good thing, in the end. I’ve seen too many reports over the years of police refusing to clear picketers or protect those who wish to cross a picket line, or to cross it themselves, out of solidarity with their fellow unionists. If the other unions show them that they’re not interested in solidarity, maybe that will stop.