Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Confederation of National Trade Unions Declares Neutrality in Quebec Election Campaign

Quebec's second largest trade union central, the Confederation of National Trade Unions, is not happy with the status quo, but isn't prepared to indicate which party it would prefer in power after the 2007 Quebec election

The CNTU has a long tradition of staying neutral in election campaigns, but normally makes it painfully clear which party is most closely aligned with the aims and objectives of the union.

Last year, the Montreal Council of the CNTU surprised some people by endorsing Quebec Solidaire candidate Manon Massée in a by-election. But the small left-wing sovereignist party cannot count on the union's support this time around. PQ members in Montreal are likely breathing a sigh of relief while QS activists are likely feeling a bit let down.

The PQ regained some of its social democratic credibility lately when the Quebec Federation of Labour came out in support of the party. Although the CNTU stopped short of endorsing the PQ, it did go out of its way to criticize the Liberals and ADQ.

Whereas party-union relations in English Canada have revolved around social democracy, party-union relations in contemporary Quebec have revolved primarily around the National Question. This is the primary explanation for the PQ-labour relationship.

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