AFSCME Cuts Ties with United Negro College Fund Over Charles Koch’s Donation

Lee Saunders is president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. (PHOTO CREDIT: Garrett Hubbard for USA TODAY)
Lee Saunders is president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. (PHOTO CREDIT: Garrett Hubbard for USA TODAY)

One of the nation’s biggest labor groups said Thursday it would sever ties with the United Negro College Fund over the fund’s relationship with conservative billionaire Charles Koch.

The fund recently accepted a $25 million donation from Koch Industries and the Charles Koch Foundation to pay for 3,000 scholarships for African-American students and to help support the fund and historically black colleges and universities. The college fund’s CEO, Michael Lomax, also spoke at a recent summit of the conservative political network organized by Charles Koch and his brother, David Koch.

Lee Saunders, the president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, said the fund’s actions are “not only deeply hostile to the rights and dignity of public employees, but also a profound betrayal of the ideals of the civil rights movement.”

Saunders said the union would end its partnerships with the college fund effective Sept. 1. Those joint efforts include scholarships for college juniors and seniors. The union has 1.6 million members.

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SOURCE: USA Today
Fredreka Schouten

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