[Marxism] LH Special Release: Union-Busting at Concordia

M. Junaid Alam mjunaidalam at msalam.net
Fri Dec 3 11:16:56 MST 2004

  Special Release: Thursday, December 02, 2004

Underhanded Anti-Union Maneuvers on Campus at Concordia U.

The Editors

Dear /Left Hook/ readers,

It has very recently come to our attention that the student union at
Concordia University has been engaged in some deplorable anti-union
behavior, attacking and attempting to intimidate the on-campus union
CUPE local 4512 and those supporting them with suspension, firing, and
legal threats. We condemn these acts and stand in support of CUPE local
4512. Below is an article on the situation by a Concordia student and
the recent press release of the union.

Derek Seidman and M. Junaid Alam

Student-Union Union Busting?

Macdonald Stainsby

Concordia University is a strange place indeed for a student like myself
to attend. Having been involved in anti-imperialist work for years, in
particular around the issue of Palestine, the fact that this University
was in the only city on Turtle Island that I could see myself moving to
-- Montreal-- made it an obvious slam dunk for me over two years ago.
Back then, global headlines were made by students and others who shut
down an attempt to by Hillel Concordia to bring known war criminal
Benjamin Netanyahu onto the campus; this was after years of attacks from
right wing Zionists and other neo-liberals on what they dubbed the "bin
Laden youth wing" student union and associated student clubs, who held
real sway on the hallowed grounds of this institution. I would forgive
you if you thought that the only issues brought up by students were
around the Middle East, but that's very much not the case.

Forcing a reduction in tuition (through direct action and student
strikes) for the first time in many years anywhere in the territory
called Canada or Quebec, these students had also worked on union battles
and even helped their own staff members become a local of Canadian Union
of Public Employees (CUPE), now CUPE local 4512.

After the physical denial of Bibi, the former Israeli PM declared that
the school needed to "clean up" the students; expel and attack, fight
dirty, do anything to destroy all aspects of this powerful left. And,
sadly, much of that has succeeded. Yet, thanks to the work of the old
Concordia Student Union, workers at CUPE 4512 have still maintained
their jobs (that's what unions do). Recently, the new CSU has begun
taking on the little union on campus and attacking them in the most vile
manner. The CSU does not extend proper notice of work hours that need to
be done, is in constant consultation with its lawyers to find ways to
skirt labour law, and more recently has even begun to illegally suspend
union leaders for carrying out their duties.

- (Read full) <http://www.lefthook.org/Ground/Stainsby120204.html>

CUPE 4512 Resolution

CUPE 4512

The following message was passed unanimously at the largest ever Special
General Meeting of CUPE 4512:

The CUPE 4512 membership (CSU staff) vigorously condemns the recent
heavy-handed and completely unjustified disciplinary measure imposed on
CUPE 4512 President Christina Xydous by the Concordia Student Union.

- (Read full) <http://www.lefthook.org/Ground/CUPE120204.html>

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