SEATTLE — The largest labor group in the Seattle area has expelled the city's police union, saying the guild representing officers failed to address racism within its ranks.
The vote Wednesday night by the King County Labor Council to exclude the Seattle Police Officers Guild comes after weeks of protests in the city over police brutality and systemic racism following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
“As a worker, as a labor leader, as a Black man in Seattle, I am honored to be part of this action tonight. We have made the voice of the community and the voice of the workers in our city loud and clear,” said Sam Dancy, a UFCW 21 member from QFC in West Seattle. “We will not tolerate racism and we are demanding that SPOG make systemic changes to address the racism in the Police Department.”
The Seattle Police Officers Guild represents all sworn Seattle Police Officers, Detectives, and Sergeants which includes over 1270 members.
The vote to expel SPOG is also significant as the labor council is politically influential. Local elected leaders are reluctant to go against the umbrella group of more than 150 unions and 100,00 workers.
“We stand with our allies in MLK Labor in demanding acknowledgement and addressing of institutionalized racism in Seattle policing, and that police accountability be included in contract negotiations,” a spokesperson for Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County said in a news release. “Transforming labor negotiations with the Seattle Police Officers Guild is imperative.”
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