Anti-upscale-shopping union attacks Prince George’s Democrats

Prince George’s County residents and officials, and especially African-American Democrats in the county, have long and bitterly complained about the lack of “upscale” shopping and restaurants in the county.

Hardly a day goes by without some complaint about how the richest majority African-American county in the country has been ignored by most “upscale” chains and about how awful it is to have to drive to Montgomery or Anne Arundel Counties or to Virginia to find nice stores.

One of the most vocal advocates of real action to bring better stores to the county has been Democratic Central Committee Vice Chairman Arthur A. Turner Jr.

Mr. Turner, whose sincere desire to improve the quality of life in the county is obvious in almost every sentence he says or writes, was delighted when Wegman’s announced plans to build in a new shopping center in the county, not far from FedEx field and across the Beltway from recently demolished Landover Mall.

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He apparently felt blindsided when an official of Local 400 of the United Food and Commercial Workers union tried to stop the whole project. So, Mr. Turner spoke with press and sent out e-mails, asking why the union official was “fighting against those who live, work, play and pray in our beloved Prince George’s County? Why is he acting to keep us in a subservient, second-class, substandard, marginal state?”

That apparently was the wrong thing to do. Organized labor at higher levels has come down very hard on Mr. Turner and the chairman of the county’s Democratic Central Committee, Terry Speigner, demanding their resignations. One AFL-CIO official even “declared that ‘a state of war exists’ between the two groups.”

So, we have a well-to-do African-American constituency, blindly loyal to the Democratic Party and to labor unions, being frustrated and even attacked by those unions. Will they ever learn?

“Union at odds with Democratic Central Committee; Dispute over Wegmans spurs call for change in committee leadership”
Gazette, 1 Nov 2007 (Valentine).

“Pr. George’s Democrats, Labor Spar Over Grocery”
Post, 1 Nov 2007 (Helderman).

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