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IUPA Calls for AFL-CIO Unity

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

The International Union of Police Associations (I.U.P.A) has joined with four other AFL-CIO affiliates in a call for unity among all affiliates. In addition to I.U.P.A., the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Office & Professional Employees (OPEIU), United American Nurses (UAN), the International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers (IFPTE), and the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA) are pledging their support for the AFL-CIO's leadership.

In a letter to AFSME President Gerald W. McEntee, I.U.P.A. International President Sam A. Cabral outlined his union's pledge to the parent organization. Anticipating what he termed "a healthy debate" on the future of the AFL-CIO at the upcoming convention, he stressed his union's commitment to solidarity.

His pledge of solidarity included a commitment to remain a member of the AFL-CIO in the face of dissidents’ threats to leave if their demands for change were not met. Cabral further pledged to support the reelection of AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney, Executive Vice President Linda Chavez-Thompson, and Secretary-Treasurer Rich Trumka, as well as for the basic doctrines proposed by the Federation leadership to be discussed at the Chicago convention.

Referring to what he called "...an epic struggle with the Bush administration and a score of anti-worker governors across the nation," Cabral wrote, "now is not the time to splinter the only core group left to speak for and with working men and working women."

Regarding some affiliates’ calls for consolidation, he cautioned, "I will continue, however, to oppose any forced mergers that would dilute the voices of the American law enforcement officers or place them under the auspices of any leadership that has not gained an appreciation for their needs by walking in their shoes."

It has been a long and deeply held belief by every officer in I.U.P.A. since its inception that, given the unique nature of policing in America, the leadership of a police union must come from the ranks of law enforcement. I.U.P.A.’s rank-and-file membership is comprised solely of personnel employed by law enforcement agencies. The leadership, from the president down through the board of directors, are all either active duty or former officers. This composition serves to reinforce the officers’ position that only they can truly understand the day-to-day challenges faced by their members.