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TorontoNearly 600 union members attending the annual Ontario convention of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) in Windsor last week, endorsed a balanced and fair resolution that promotes peace and human rights and calls for an end to the killings of both Palestinians and Israelis, says Sid Ryan, the Ontario president of CUPE.

Ryan is responding to allegations made today by the Canadian Jewish Congress, implying that CUPE is anti-Israel and that the resolution, that passed overwhelmingly after legitimate debate on the floor of convention, is biased and one-sided.

I am disappointed at the Congress for attempting to foment this kind of anti-union sentiment. And for attempting to silence and shutdown what is essentially a worthwhile and legitimate debate within our union, says Ryan.

The resolution begins with the following balanced perspective:

WHEREAS each day brings news of more killings of Palestinians and of Israelis; and

WHEREAS the current escalation now threatens to become a bloody conflagration in the entire mid-east region; and

WHEREAS no ceasefire can hold, no constructive negotiations can take place, no reconciliation of the peoples in this area can proceed unless there is implementation of international law, United Nations resolutions and respect for the human rights of both Palestinians and Jewish-Israelis equality;

And includes in the resolves - the salient points in resolutions - the following:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that CUPE Ontario call on the Canadian government to: Call for and actively work toward an end to the suicide bombings and other acts of violence that take the lives of innocent people.

Each year when CUPE members go to Convention, they debate freely many issues, from peace to social justice issues to what political perspective we support. That will continue and no organization will shut down that kind of substantial debate, says Ryan.

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For more information please contact:
Sid Ryan, President CUPE Ontario
(416) 209-0066
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications
(416) 578-8774