CUPE 3903 has scored itself #3 position of the Villains of the Year by the Torontoist. Here is the write up and the link:
CUPE 3903 at York University
Some place the blame for the York University teaching assistants strike on York University’s administration, and it’s certainly fair to assign fault to York’s labour-hostile environment. But it takes two sides to poison a dialogue, and CUPE 3903’s staggering sense of self-importance makes solidarity with the strikers impossible. It wasn’t York University, after all, who rejected arbitration. The union did that, and they probably did itbecause the union wants a two-year contract to harmonize York’s contract term with the rest of the other TA unions in the province so they can organize a mass strike in 2010. (There certainly wasn’t any other good reason to avoid arbitration.) When York allowed foreign students due to graduate in December to complete their degrees (students who are paying tens of thousands of dollars per year and who are mostly from poor countries), CUPE issued a statement calling it “unconscionable.” This mix of high-handed rhetoric and blunt tactical maneuvering has turned off even traditional labour supporters such as the Toronto Star from the union and conditioned a generation’s worth of students to consider unions as spoiled complainers. And when the government likely passes back-to-work legislation in January, it’ll all have been for absolutely nothing. Way to go, guys.
BY CHRISTOPHER BIRD; PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER BIRD