Sid Ryan, CUPE and resolutions

Tue Jan 13 22:57:45 2009 EST (-0500 GMT)

Tonight I was at my local CUPE meeting. As a contract instructor (among other things) at Brock University I’m a member of CUPE 4207. This has generally had little influence on my daily thoughts, but last week when CUPE Ontario president Sid Ryan made his statement condemning the invasion of Gaza… and then some, my membership in CUPE Ontario was more top of mind.

For those who would like to meet Sid Ryan, I know he will be at Brock University on Friday to talk about CUPE’s “Unbottle It! – Kick the bottle. Tap into public drinking water.” campaign and speaking with the local membership. I would encourage anyone who wants to speak with Sid Ryan and Maude Barlow about the commercialization and commoditification of a natural resource they are welcome to do so Friday evening. If you want to take issue with Mr. Ryan’s comments about Israel I suggest you contact CUPE 4207 about when that can be done (and not confuse the two events).

I have no issue with the commendation of Isreal’s disproportional reaction to Hamas rockets, and I have no problems with CUPE’s previous or future condemnations of Israel’s treatment of Palestine, but threats to make anyone denounce anything as a condition of employment is not something I want to be associated with. Gratefully, CUPE Ontario has clarified/stepped back from this position but it’s my hope this doesn’t even make it to the May 27-30th CUPE Ontario convention — but if it does I know I’ll be interested in making sure it is not adopted.