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Mr. Prime Minister! OMG! The Quebec unions don’t like how we’re treating the Palestinians!

I’m not one of those people who thinks musicians should just shut up about world hunger. I believe everyone’s entitled to their opinions.

But there’s a difference between a single person expressing an opinion on a subject they’re not well-known for, and a group expressing an opinion on behalf of its members, on a topic that’s completely irrelevant to the group’s function.

So why are Quebec’s unions taking a hard-line stance against Israel in the Mideast debate? Surely there are people in unions here who disagree with this position, and yet have had it thrust upon them.

It’s things like this that give unions (and union management) a bad name here.

One thought on “Mr. Prime Minister! OMG! The Quebec unions don’t like how we’re treating the Palestinians!

  1. Nicolas

    You should have wrote *some* Quebec unions…

    This said, if we follow your logic, then the unions would not be able to take a stand on any issue –including job related issues– because you could always find members who disagree. I think it’s ok for unions to take a stand, as long as there’s a position that was adopted by a majority somewhere in the structure. You dont need a referenda every time.

    As for the issue of Palestine, there’s a long history of unions taking position on that in Quebec. I think it does have something to do with the fact that this issue rose to prominence at about the same time the independance movement rose too. That was one pet issue of Michel Chartrand in the 1970’s and from the Montreal Central Council of the CSN it spread to most of organised labor. This issue is one of the most popular international issue in organised labor (I think the only other issue that was more popular was support for the ANC & COSATU in the 1980’s). It is not just a question of taking a stand, a lot of practical international solidarity have happened too.

    I am preatty sure that if you where to have a poll, or even a referenda, of union members (esp. in the CSN and CSQ) a clear majority would agree with their union taking a pro-palestinian stand.


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