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OTTAWA The head of Canadas largest union has told CAW president Buzz Hargrove to back off from his support for a raid on Alberta health care workers.

Judy Darcy, National President of the half-million strong Canadian Union of Public Employees, called on Hargrove to step away from Ralph Kleins side and join CUPE and the rest of the labour movement in fighting for real worker democracy together.

In a letter today, Darcy challenged Hargrove to choose between a union thats committed to membership control and to mobilizing for the defence of workers rights [versus] a union leader that defends the Alberta governments policies.

The letter was prompted by media reports that Hargrove was supporting a raid by the Alberta Union of Public Employees against CUPE members in the health sector in Alberta. AUPEs actions have been condemned by the Alberta Federation of Labour and the Canadian Labour Congress but praised by Alberta Premier Ralph Klein.

Premier Klein has said health care workers are opting out of CUPE because the union has been too militant in its opposition to the policies of his government including cuts to health care and education funding, and support for private for-profit hospitals.

In her letter, Darcy said CUPE is fighting on many fronts to oppose privatization, improve public services and win better wages and working conditions. Fighting off raids from other unions only diverts time and energy from winning these struggles, she said.

We should focus on organizing workers that have no union not raiding each others members, said Darcy.

Darcy called on Hargrove to support CUPEs stand, saying we will all win sooner and bigger if you come on side.


For further information, contact Beryl Ct003c/a> (613) 294-7246 cell.