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(Quebec City Convention) The Industrial, Wood and Allied Workers Union (IWA) was put on hard notice at CUPEs 21st national convention today that the labour movement will not tolerate their continued attempts to steal members of the Hospital Employees Union.

One HEU member, wearing a Stop IWAs attack on HEU sticker, drew a standing ovation when she described how the IWA came along and took our jobs. Another described how health care workers had been tossed out on the street.

I knew wed have to fight with the government. I knew wed have to fight the employer. But I never thought Id have to fight another union, she said.

Outgoing national CUPE president Judy Darcy called on the Canadian Labour Congress to tell the IWA to get the hell out of those scuzzbag agreements. Newly elected CUPE national president Paul Moist added that the IWAs actions were shameful.

The 2,000 delegates to the biennial convention of Canadas largest union expressed their repugnance at the IWA actions in strongly worded resolution that was adopted unanimously. Angered by fresh news that the IWA was raiding HEU members, the delegates called on CLC president Ken Georgetti to impose sanctions on the IWA and questioned why it had not done so earlier.

The actions of the IWA mean that people have to beg for their jobs, said HEU president Fred Muzin. They are blacklisted, demeaned and isolated.

Its not the IWA against CUPE, CUPE BC president Barry ONeill said. Its the IWA against the labour movement, noting that the internal dispute was keeping unions from their real job of defending workers.

What the IWA is doing in B.C. has incurred the wrath of all working people in this country, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions president Michael Hurley said. We do not accept the IWAs collusion with the government and employers.


For more information:
Kaj Hasselriis, CUPE Communications, 613-798-6925
For a full audio and text report on the Georgetti speech and debate on the IWA go to www.cupe.ca.