Ecuador Internacional

Canadian union wrong to cozy up to regressive regime

Toronto Sun - Candice Malcolm 08/02/2016

Photo: Toronto Sun

Photo: Toronto Sun

Why is a progressive Canadian union cozying up with one of the world’s most regressive regimes? Why are they boasting about meeting with officials of a government that Human Rights Watch says has “abused its power to harass, intimidate, and punish” its political opponents?

Perhaps we should direct that question to the Canadian branch of the Union of Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), whose leaders recently returned from a tour of Ecuador.

Ecuador is controlled by the hardline socialist government of strongman leader Rafael Correa. The government routinely seizes private property, shuts down critical newspapers, and systematically fires independent judges and replaces them with government cronies.

This is not exactly the type of regime that progressive Canadian unions should be rubbing elbows with, and yet, the UFCW are singing the government’s praises.

According to the union’s website, its leaders participated in an “international solidarity exchange.” The union bosses met with Ecuadorian officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss workers’ rights, particularly when it comes to the protection of temporary foreign workers in Canada and migrant workers around the world. The news release on their website makes no mention of Ecuador’s laundry list of human rights offenses; instead, it simply regurgitates Ecuadorian government propaganda about an ongoing lawsuit against the US-based oil company Chevron.

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