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    "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
    Cesar Chavez

    :: Tuesday, May 03, 2005 ::

    Too-clever Liberals caught in union squeeze By IAN URQUHART, Toronto Star
    Two weeks ago, Premier Dalton McGuinty was the guest speaker at a fundraiser co-chaired by the two leaders of the carpenters' union. The dinner raised more than $100,000 for the Liberals.

    'The optics of this are incredibly shocking,' says Conservative House Leader Bob Runciman.

    But it is not just the Conservatives who are attacking this aspect of the bill. So are the other unions. Last week, in public hearings on Bill 144, unions ranging from the autoworkers (CAW) to the teachers (OSSTF) lined up at the microphone to denounce the bill for discriminating in favour of construction workers.

    Marie Kelly of the United Steelworkers even called the bill 'sexist and racist' because members of construction unions are predominantly white males whereas employees in sectors that her union is attempting to organize - retail stores, hotels, nursing homes and call-centres - are disproportionately non-white and female.

    Yesterday, the Ontario Federation of Labour launched a radio ad campaign that echoes this message.

    And the unions have also been furiously lobbying Liberal backbenchers and cabinet ministers and senior staffers in the premier's office to demand that the bill be changed to extend card-check certification to everyone.
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