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The Peterborough Examiner

Sat Oct 27 2012

Page: A4

Section: Editorial/Opinion

Column: Letters to the Editor

CUPE didn’t support Liberals or its attacks on workers

Re “School CUPE members got what they paid for” (Letter, Oct. 25) – I take great exception to the false statements in a letter stating that CUPE had supported the Liberals by funding a series of anti-Hudak attack ads. This is completely untrue.

In the last election, CUPE Ontario was very clear in our support for Andrea Horwath and the NDP. The Liberal attacks on the Charter rights of workers through Bill 115 and the proposed and cynically named “Protecting Public Services Act” only reinforced our position.

Further, contrary to the writer’s claim, no worker is required to hold membership in CUPE. Individuals who benefit from the collective agreement pay dues to support the negotiation of that contract. It is a system that has existed in Canada since the 1940s and which has allowed Ontario’s businesses and services a level of peace and order that had not previously existed. It’s one of the great success stories for our economy.

The simple reality is that CUPE members, chosen by their fellow workers as delegates to our annual convention, voted to direct their union and its leaders to support the NDP during the last Ontario election and that’s what we did.

Right now, those campaigns are more important than ever. We are facing Liberals and PCs who want to strip Ontario workers of their Charter-protected rights. When governments begin violating Charter rights, we must stand up to them. If we do not, we face a dangerous precedent that could make our Constitution meaningless. This is not a CUPE fight, it is a fight for all Ontarians.

I am frustrated to see a letter that was blatant Tory propaganda published in your paper,. But as a Peterborough resident and reader of The Examiner, I am particularly dismayed and disappointed that the paper did not take the time to ensure the factual accuracy of the material printed in its pages.

CANDACE RENNICK Secretary-treasurer, CUPE Ontario