PCCFFAP Executive Council Calls on AFT-OR and AFL-CIO to Disaffiliate from Police Unions

On July 16, 2020, PCCFFAP President Frank Goulard sent the following letter to the Presidents of AFT-OR, OR AFL-CIO, AFT-National, and National AFL-CIO. The letter was sent on behalf of the entire PCCFFAP Executive Council.

Dear Presidents of AFT-OR, OR AFL-CIO, AFT-National, and National AFL-CIO:

Portland Community College Federation of Faculty and Academic Professionals  (AFT-Local 2277) condemns the police murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, David McAtee, and countless others. We stand in solidarity with demonstrators in Portland and around the country who are fighting for racial justice. We stand with the loved ones of our own community members killed by Portland Police: Kendra James, Quanice Hayes, Terrell Johnson, Andre Gladden, Patrick Kimmons, Aaron Campbell, James Jahar Perez, Tony Stevenson, Keaton Otis, and Jason Washington. 

In recent weeks we’ve seen multiple incidents of police in Portland assaulting journalists, protesters, and bystanders, deploying tear gas and explosive devices, and firing rubber bullets into crowds of non-violent protesters.  

Our parent union, the Oregon AFL-CIO, which is part of the largest national federation of unions, acknowledges that “Our systems, our institutions, and our societal norms have all been built upon this racist foundation that gives some people privilege and intentionally takes it away from others based on the color of their skin or country of origin.” But the national AFL-CIO has failed to contend with the ways in which police unions have perpetuated these same racist practices. 

Police unions often work in direct opposition to labor by protecting individuals and institutions that harm workers. As the events of recent months have tragically clarified, they contribute to the murder and oppression of the most marginalized people in our society, ultimately upholding white supremacy. 

Whereas, police have not been held accountable for multiple acts of violence and brutality against citizens, and

Whereas Black, Indigenous, and People of Color continue to experience disproportionate rates of arrest, imprisonment, oppression, and violence at the hands of police, and

Whereas reform efforts such as body cameras, bias and de-escalation training have not led to the elimination of police brutality,

Be it resolved that absent immediate and meaningful changes in law enforcement collective bargaining agreements and practices, AFT shall disaffiliate from law enforcement unions.    

We look forward to your support in our call to transform our communities and the labor movement at large.

Sincerely,

On behalf of the majority vote of the PCCFFAP Executive Council, 

Frank Goulard, President of AFT Local 2277