CUPE President Urges United Front to Fight the Right

August 20, 2009, 8:43 AM EST

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Public and private sector unions, social justice groups and others must work together to build a forceful, united movement that can push back the agenda of right-wing governments and big corporations, CUPE President Paul Moist says.

Moist told CAW Constitutional Convention delegates that right-wing columnists, politicians and business leaders are using the recession to launch increasingly aggressive attacks on both public and private sector workers.

These right wing ideologues are counting on workers being afraid to speak out against the hypocrisy of this agenda that calls for massive worker rollbacks and sacrifices, while the average compensation for the CEOs of major corporations continues to grow at astounding rates.

"So these emperors have no clothes, but they are banking on our silence," Moist said. "We need to confront the hypocrisy."

Deregulation, privatization and free trade have been on the agenda of the right wing for decades and are the root causes of the current economic crisis facing workers today. Moist blasted those who are calling for more of that agenda as a solution.

He outlined the tough attacks CUPE members endured during recent public sector strikes in Windsor and Toronto. He thanked the CAW for supporting CUPE members and urged continued solidarity between public and private sector union members.

Moist stressed the importance of strong private sector jobs including manufacturing jobs in support of public workers and in ensuring a society with strong public services.

CAW President Ken Lewenza lauded Moist for speaking out in favour of good private sector jobs, in addition to defending public sector workers. Lewenza urged a renewed commitment by labour to publicly discuss and stress the importance of public services in our communities. 

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