CUPE & the JDL, Sigh

From Andrew Brett at rabble:

This past weekend, an unusual amount of media coverage surrounded a meeting of the Ontario University Workers’ Coordinating Committee in Windsor.

As a subgroup of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), these provincial meetings are usually an opportunity to coordinate the bargaining efforts of CUPE locals in the university sector across Ontario. At this meeting, however, delegates also voted on a resolution in response to the latest Israeli military attack on Gaza.

The motion, calling for research and education into ties between Ontario universities and the Israeli military, passed with a strong majority after a forum and debate were held on the topic.

CUPE Ontario President Sid Ryan explained that the motion was simply an adjunct to Resolution 50, which had already been approved by the union’s membership at a convention in 2006. That resolution called for research and education on a boycott, divestment and sanctions strategy to counter the Israeli government’s apartheid-like policies, similar to the strategy adopted by the Canadian trade union movement that helped bring an end to South African apartheid. University workers at this meeting were implementing that policy by applying it to their own workplaces: universities.

A small but committed group of protesters gathered outside the hotel, bussed in from Toronto by an organization known as the Jewish Defence League. They waved Israeli flags and carried signs ranging from “Defeat Islamo-Fascism” to “Israel belongs to the Jews.” One sign depicted the president of CUPE Ontario as a Nazi and placed the union’s logo next to a star and crescent. On Saturday, a member of the group burst into the union meeting holding placard signs, and yelled at stunned delegates.

Read the rest please

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