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Ryan's Israel stance creates rift in CUPE

By Jessica Ireland, The Windsor Star, January 09, 2009

Source: The Windsor Star

The president of the CUPE chapter representing technical workers at the University of Windsor is condemning his provincial president's effort to ban Israeli academics from campuses as an "appalling injustice."

"It's just wrong," said Aldo DiCarlo, president of CUPE Local 1393. "He shouldn't have come out with that position without coming to the membership first."

Sid Ryan, Ontario president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, recently called for schools to ban Israeli academics from campuses across Ontario.


A ban would prevent those academics from teaching, speaking or researching at Ontario's universities and colleges.

DiCarlo spoke with members who want to seek Ryan's resignation if he doesn't apologize and withdraw the proposal.

He's also received e-mails from fellow members saying that Ryan's position is "absolutely unacceptable," and it doesn't accurately reflect the provincial membership's opinions.

The resolution will be brought to a vote on Feb. 19 at a conference in Windsor. DiCarlo said CUPE Local 1393 representatives will be there voicing their opposition.

If the resolution passes, the chapter will disaffiliate from CUPE Ontario and remain with CUPE National, he said.


"People shouldn't be lumping all CUPE members into this pile," said DiCarlo of comments from the Jewish community who said, "We should be treating all CUPE members the way they're treating us."

Proposals like Ryan's should not be the politics of a provincial president, said DiCarlo.

He said such politics are not in the interest of CUPE members.

"It's not our business," said DiCarlo. "We're not informed to take a stand."

Provincial CUPE presidents should be focused on the issues "as they relate to unions," he said.

For example, he said, "The politics of provincial presidents is to get funding for universities. That's productive politics."

DiCarlo said he hopes that despite this situation, CUPE's reputation won't suffer because of Ryan's position.

"We do a lot of good for a lot of people and hopefully that'll overshadow the views of a provincial president," he said.

Press Releases

The CUPE proposals and clarification, (Jan 5, Jan 13, Jan 14)
CUPE 3902 (local branch), Executive Statement, (rejecting boycott proposal)
Canadian Graduate Students, Petition Against the Proposed CUPE Ontario Boycott of Israeli Academics and Institutions
Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME), petition
Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME), press release
B'nai Brith Canada, CUPE-National must address blatant discrimination by its Ontario affiliate, Press Release, January 6, 2009
B'nai Brith Canada, Why is CUPE National still silent on Hamas terrorism, Press Release, January 13 2009

News Reports

Union at Ontario Universities Proposes Boycott of Israeli Professors, The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 6, 2009
Sid Ryan's bigotry, National Post, 6 January 2009
Bob Dale, Ottawa needs to proscribe CUPE's anti-Israel agenda, The National Post, January 06, 2009
Sid Ryan keeps digging, National Post, 7 January 2009
Tamas Virag, Local Jews slam union ban idea, The Edmonton Sun, January 7, 2008
Kate Dubinski, Western rejects CUPE call for boycott, The London Free Press, January 8, 2009
CUPE should stay out of politics, Calgary Herald, January 08, 2009
Vanessa Kortekaas, CUPE Ontario leader apologizes for 'Nazi' reference, The Ottawa Citizen, January 8, 2009
Jessica Ireland, Ryan's Israel stance creates rift in CUPE, The Windsor Star, January 09, 2009
Susan Martinuk, Racism is behind push to ban Israeli scholars, The Calgary Herald, January 09, 2009
James Cowan, Right to fight?, National Post, January 10, 2009
Michael Coren, Lecture for a union, Toronto Sun, 10th January 2009
Oren Gross, CUPE Ontario's proposed boycott of Israeli academics is just plain anti-Semitic, The Globe and Mail, January 13, 2009
Kenyon Wallace, Ryan rebuked by national CUPE head, Toronto Star, 14 January 2009
Howard Levitt, Political lobbying doesn't help CUPE member interests, Financial Post, January 14, 2009
Joe Howell, CUPE Ontario proposes to ban Israeli academics from campuses, The Strand, 15 January 2009
Ryan’s rage, Editorial, Canadian Jewish News, January 15, 2009
Murray Teitel, A waste of CUPE's money, Toronto Sun, 15 January 2009
Sid Ryan must go, National Post, 16 January 2009

Responces, Blogs, Newsletters

CUPE Shows Their Colours, Pelalusa Blog, January 05, 2009
CUPE Wants HM Government to Condemn Israel, Dr Roy's Thoughts, January 05, 2009
Israel Academic Boycott Urged by Canada Labor Leader, ZWord Blog, January 06, 2009
CUPE’s Latest Gimmick: Just Plain Wrong, BlogUT (A blog by University of Toronto Students), January 6, 2009
Scratch A Leftist Labour Union, Small Dead Animals, January 06, 2009
CUPE asks that Israeli professors be blacklisted, Keyes, January 06, 2009
CUPE: Ban Israeli academics, The Shotgun Blog, January 07, 2009

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