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Uniform storm

Marty Bandemer is baffled. The president of the 3,000-member Detroit Police Officers Association wonders why the Detroit City Council approved a contract to allow a nonunion, foreign company to make uniforms for the Detroit Police Department.

"It would be embarrassing for the city to be buying nonunion products when the council is supported by unions," says Bandemer. "You would think that the City Council would know better."

The council approved a contract with Metropolitan Uniform, which gets its police duds from Creighton Uniform, a nonunion garment manufacturer, according to the metro Detroit AFL-CIO, which opposes the contract. Creighton makes uniforms in Colombia, says AFL-CIO spokesman Shawn Ellis.

"They are made outside the United States by workers who don’t have the wage and benefit standards here," says Ellis.

It is not clear whether the council knew that Creighton would supply the uniforms.

Metropolitan Uniform did not return News Hits calls; neither did council members.

The AFL-CIO and United Needle Trade, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE), plan a demonstration Thursday, June 20, at 3 p.m. outside Metropolitan Uniform’s downtown offices (which, conveniently, are across from police headquarters on Beaubien).

"We support the cause and believe that Detroit tax dollars should to go to United States and union-made vending companies," says Jim Gawlowski, president of the 1,000-member Detroit Police Lieutenants and Sergeants Association.

Will cops boycott the uniforms? Not likely. Ann Mullen is a Metro Times staff writer. E-mail her at amullen@metrotimes.com

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