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Tue Jul 7, 2020, 01:55 PM

Local Unions Defy AFL-CIO in Push to Oust Police Unions



Several local unions have moved to oust police unions, despite the federation's approach that collective bargaining can be used for police reform.

June 30, 2020 Rebecca Rainey and Holly Otterbein POLTICO


Chicago police officers face off with protesters. , Natasha Moustache/Getty Images

The nation’s labor movement is splitting over police reform in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

Local unions are defying leaders of the AFL-CIO, who have rejected calls to cut ties with the labor federation's law enforcement arm and stressed the importance of collective bargaining instead to counter the use of excessive force. Several local unions, including those affiliated with the AFL-CIO, have moved to oust police unions within their locals and remove officers from schools and other workplaces. They argue that police have used their bargaining power to resist reform and protect those who have killed unarmed African Americans.

The vastly different approaches to solving what has become a major election year issue have not only exposed the rift within the labor movement but also threaten to diminish law enforcement unions in liberal cities and could even affect the behind-the-scenes race to succeed AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

“There are a lot of unions that are very concerned about police brutality,” said Lowell Peterson, executive director of Writers Guild of America-East, which adopted a resolution calling on the AFL-CIO to disassociate itself from the International Union of Police Associations, the federation’s police union affiliate. “There’s definitely a lot of talk in the labor movement about, ‘Why is this happening and what can we as unions do about it?’”

FULL story: https://portside.org/2020-06-30/local-unions-defy-afl-cio-push-oust-police-unions?

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