“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.
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 KING5.com 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 movementto 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.