The WGA East is calling on the AFL-CIO to disaffiliate with the International Union of Police Associations, a labor organization that represents more than 100,000 police officers around the country. The resolution calling for the ouster, which was adopted unanimously by the guild’s Council, refers to the policies and actions of the police union as being consistent with “authoritarianism, totalitarianism, terrorism and other forces that suppress individual liberties and freedom.”
“We, the Writers Guild of America, East, support the right of all workers to have a union,” the resolution states. “But we believe that police unions are incompatible with the AFL-CIO’s stated goals ‘to vanquish oppression, privation and cruelty in all their forms,’ and to improve the lives of working families and pursue social equity. As long as police unions continue to wield their collective bargaining power as a cudgel, preventing reforms and accountability, no one is safe. Therefore we believe that police unions do not belong in our labor coalition. We acknowledge and appreciate that the leadership of the AFL-CIO met in good faith on Friday in an attempt to address the federation’s relationship with its police union affiliates, but we feel more urgent action is needed.
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“We call on the Executive Council of the AFL-CIO to enact the process described in Article X, section 8(b) of the AFL-CIO Constitution to suspend the AFL-CIO’s affiliation with the International Union of Police Associations (IUPA), on the constitutional grounds that ‘the policies or activities of [the IUPA] are consistently directed toward the achievement of the program or purposes of authoritarianism, totalitarianism, terrorism and other forces that suppress individual liberties and freedom of association and oppose the basic principles of free and democratic trade unionism.’
“We also call on other member unions of the AFL-CIO that represent police officers to strongly consider whether those affiliations align with the goals of our labor movement. We urge officers, staff, and leadership within these unions to commit to contracts that do not evade accountability, to do the work of eradicating racism within their ranks, and uphold their promise to serve and protect all people equally.
“We additionally want to note how important our relationship with AFL-CIO is when it comes to working together on initiatives and legislation aimed at improving the lives of workers, as well as our deep gratitude for our union siblings at the AFL-CIO who have been working tirelessly in support of racial justice, and with whom we are proud to stand in solidarity against oppression. It is out of respect for the AFL-CIO and its affiliates who are committed to true trade unionism that we pass this resolution – so that we may get our own house in order as the labor movement works to combat systemic racism and police brutality at large.”
The guild, which is an AFL-CIO affiliate, said that in drafting the resolution “The Council consulted with numerous WGAE members and partner organizations, most notably Color of Change, the largest online racial justice organization in the country. We are grateful to Color of Change President Rashad Robinson and his staff for their input and support on this resolution, and we look forward to continuing our working relationship with them to combat systemic racism, including within film, television and news (broadcast and digital).”