Wednesday, May 16, 2007

CUPE and the NDP: Convention Resolution Could Change Party-Union Dynamic

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.


· 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.


Greg Fingas said...

In addition to the flat-out lie about the federal NDP "propping up" the Harper government in the preamble, it's worth noting a glaring loophole in the second prong of the resolution. Is CUPE actually likely to vote to pressure the parties to act progressive only in the event of a minority government when the status quo is a Lib majority?

janfromthebruce said...

Hi, I am a cupe member, but not of that local.
I think they made a mistake in their resolution, where they said:
"Because the provincial NDP should not mirror the federal NDP by propping up the Conservatives in a minority government."
Shouldn't it say:

Because the provincial liberal should not mirror the federal liberal by propping up the Conservatives in a minority government.

We should let the local know that they should check the stats before putting out propaganda.

Dissidence said...

Juxtapose this with resolution 19 on strategic voting. While the resolution you have posted on doesn't speak directly to CUPE's approach to the NDP and Liberals during the campaign (although it is seeminly implied), it certainly is reminicant of the 1999 'anyone but Harris' voting slate. I don't think you can possibly support a coalition after the election and not support strategic voting during the election if the raison d'etre of the resolution is oppose the Tories. I'm sure that Sid will be quick to endorse resolution 19 and oppose this one.