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Teamsters condemn murder of George Floyd

The union, which includes 30,000 police officers, says institutional racism ‘threatens our very freedom’


SEATTLE (June 2, 2020) — Many police unions are independent guilds not affiliated with the AFL-CIO or its state federation in our state, the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO (WSLC). Although the International Union of Police Associations (IUPA) is an AFL-CIO affiliate, there are no IUPA locals in Washington state affiliated with the WSLC.

There are, however, unions affiliated with both the AFL-CIO and the WSLC that represent police officers, among other workers, the largest of which would be the Teamsters union.

The following is the Statement on the Murder of George Floyd issued Sunday by James P. Hoffa, Teamsters General President, and Marcus King, Director of the Teamsters Human Rights and Diversity Commission.

“This past week marked another tragic time in our nation’s history with the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Unfortunately, this is just the latest incident of an unwarranted police killing of an unarmed black man in the United States, and a harsh truth that we must accept – equal justice under the law is not a reality for all Americans. Black people fear for their lives on a daily basis by the very institutions which are supposed to protect them. It may not be most of our truths, but we must acknowledge and understand that this is the truth of so many black and brown brothers and sisters in this union and throughout our country.

“The Teamsters Union has long supported the civil rights movement and the fight to ensure the fair treatment of all our people regardless of race, color, gender or sexual orientation. We reject social injustices such as racism, which have eroded and divided us as a country for far too long. Denying that racism still exists and continues to operate in ways which destroys lives and communities threatens our very freedom.

“The Teamsters Union unites 1.4 million working people of all races and nationalities across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, including more than 30,000 law enforcement members who also condemn this act and ask that we understand that it is not representative of the entire law enforcement community. They also acknowledge that while there has been some progress made within police departments across the nation to engage in constructive dialogue to improve relations among police officers and people of color, there is still a long road ahead. And we all have a role to play in getting there as we cannot afford to lose any more innocent lives.

“Therefore, this is not a time when we sit in judgment and ridicule of each other, but when we unite in a show of solidarity and compassion to ensure that all people are treated fairly with dignity and respect.

“On behalf of this great union, we send our condolences to the family of Brother George Floyd, and may justice prevail.”


In case you missed it, here is the statement issued Friday by WSLC President Larry Brown and Secretary Treasurer April Sims:

“The Washington State Labor Council is proud of the work we’ve done towards becoming an anti-racist organization; we’re committed to continuing to do this needed work.

“We raise our voices in solidarity with our sisters, brothers, and siblings who are putting their bodies on the line, calling for justice for Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd.

“There is and has been an epidemic of racist police violence targeting Black Americans, our sisters, brothers, and siblings in the labor movement. As unionists, when we see injustice, it is our obligation to call it out.

“We must root out white supremacy within all of our institutions, but in particular within law enforcement. In this moment the question is, which side are you on? The WSLC is always proud to stand on the side of justice and equality.”

Read more about the WSLC’s ongoing commitment to building an anti-racist labor movement here at the WSLC website.

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