CUPE's powerful Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU) has submitted an interesting resolution to be debated at the Onatrio division's convention next week. Essentially, it calls for the union to criticize the Tory platform in the upcoming provincial election and encourage both the Liberals and NDP to cooperate on a progressive agenda in the event of a minority result.
It's not as controversial as last year's infamous Resolution 50, which called for an international boycott of Isreal, but it should certainly stir some debate on the future of party-union relations in Ontario. We know that the CAW, Ontario's largest private sector union, is likely to, at least tacitly, endorse the Ontario Liberals, but if CUPE Ontario, Ontario's largest public sector union, abandons a mutually exclusive relationship with the NDP, look for major changes in how organized labour approaches electoral politics, in Ontario, and across English Canada.
The text of the resolution as follows.
SUBMITTED BY OCHU
· Because our political work for the last four years has focused, appropriately, on the provincial Liberals; and.
· Because the provincial conservative Party supports public funding for private schools and 2 Tier Medicare; and.
· Because the provincial NDP should not mirror the federal NDP by propping up the Conservatives in a minority government.
Therefore be it resolved:
1. That CUPE Ontario work actively to expose the political agenda of the provincial Conservative party during the lead-up to the provincial election; and
2. That CUPE Ontario push both the New Democratic and Liberal parties to work together to advance a progressive political agenda for working people in the event that there is a minority government.