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Today, CUPE National President Paul Moist sent the following message of appreciation to Jack Layton, leader of the Official Opposition, with a pledge to work with the federal NDP team to continue the important work of building a Canada that values the contribution of all workers.

The Honourable Jack Layton
Leader of the Official Opposition Party
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

Dear Jack:

On behalf of over 600,000 members of CUPE, I am writing to thank you and your caucus for your many efforts over the past week on behalf of CUPW members in the face of the heavy-handed and draconian legislation brought down by the Harper government.

Like many Canadians, I watched the debate in the House of Commons and to a person the NDP caucus was strong and principled in your defense of free collective bargaining rights. Member after member spoke eloquently about the government manufacturing this crisis, allowing Canada Post to lock out their workers, and then declaring that the economy of the country required their imposition of terms and agreements inferior to those tentatively agreed to between the parties.

Your team in Parliament spoke some hard truths to the government and their heavy-handed approach to this non-crisis. Sadly, the Harper majority and their unwillingness to instruct the Crown Corporation they preside over to get back to the table made the passage of Bill C-6 inevitable. But, as CUPW National President Denis Lemelin has said, this in no way diminishes the strong defense over freedoms for which our forbearers fought long and hard.

Today, CUPE members will join demonstrations across Canada to salute the brave membership of CUPW as they return to work. Labour history is replete with examples of progress and setbacks with the common denominator being member-to-member solidarity and an ongoing resolve to fight for the rights and interests of all workers. CUPW members have this resolve as do CUPE members and all trade unionists and defenders of social justice in communities across Canada. We pledge to work with your federal NDP team to continue the important work of building a Canada that values the contribution of all workers.

Again, on behalf of the membership of CUPE, our sincere thanks for your outstanding efforts these past few days. You gave a voice to millions of workers on the floor of Parliament and for this we are both grateful and resolved to support our common vision of social justice for all.

In solidarity,

National President


If you have any comments or feedback, please feel free to reach me at paulspage@cupe.ca.