SPOG – Response to MLK Labor Council Vote
June 17, 2020
Today’s decision to disaffiliate the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) from the MLK Labor Council is deeply disappointing and concerning. SPOG has been an effective police labor union for its members since 1952. We take pride in consistently working hard to protect the collective bargaining rights for our members – always focusing on improving hours, wages and working conditions. We’ve also fostered long-lasting relationships with our fellow labor brothers and sisters. Today’s troubling political decision should sound the alarm to other public safety labor unions across our region, state and nation that they’re next.
SPOG has addressed the demands set forth in the MLK Labor resolution. We shared our answers via a letter to the labor council on June, 15 2020. Our executive board also participated in a 2.5 hour Zoom meeting with the executive board of the MLK Labor Council to further address the resolution. This conversation allowed our unions to immerse ourselves in a cathartic, robust discussion on race relations and how we ALL can move forward in labor solidarity against racism. Despite our expulsion, SPOG is hopeful these important conversations will continue.
SPOG is profoundly proud of our wonderfully diverse membership who reflect Seattle’s values. We have a long history of positive community engagement through many innovative programs. Our Emerald Protection Plan is an excellent example of our commitment to our community as our membership partnered with independent grocers and community members to collect and donate over five tons of food to feed our most vulnerable in just six “Food Bank Fridays.” SPOG members also saved over one hundred and fifty lives when we donated blood in partnership with the American Red Cross. During COVID-19, SPOG dues were used to assist local restaurants in an effort to keep them economically viable and help keep their workers employed. This financial assistance continued as we provided financial support to SEIU 1199 health care workers to help feed them as they worked tirelessly to protect our community ravaged by the pandemic.
Regardless of today’s decision, SPOG will continue to protect the collective bargaining rights for our members. We will remain open to working with the MLK Labor council, and will also foster quality relationships with other labor unions across our region, state and nation so we ALL can continue to grow, learn and protect labor rights.
Seattle Police Officers Guild members are high-caliber individuals who swore an oath of service. The job of policing is a calling that not many can do. We are willing to risk our lives to save others; while others run from danger, we run toward it. As the job becomes increasingly political and dangerous, I’m confident SPOG members will continue to serve professionally, for the betterment of our society.
Officer Mike Solan
Seattle Police Officers Guild