The letter the Toronto Star wouldn’t print


A message to OPSEU members from Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President  

Dear friends:  

If you were at OPSEU Convention this year, you know that delegates worked hard to come up with a solution to a matter related to sexual assault and harassment in the workplace. You might also be aware that a Toronto Star columnist, Martin Regg Cohn, was critical of our union's handling of the matter. I responded with a letter, which the Star declined to print. For the record, please find my letter below.  

In solidarity,

Warren (Smokey) Thomas

To the editor, Toronto Star  

Re: Loyalty to far-right misogynist hurts Tories: Cohn, April 17

It's a shame Martin Regg Cohn did not actually attend the OPSEU convention he wrote about. If he had, he would have seen an inspiring example of group problem solving through free and open debate in a passionately democratic organization. Were there differing views, initially, on how the union should handle a particular problem relating to sexual assault and harassment? Yes there were. But when I and the rest of the OPSEU Executive Board put forward a resolution to resolve it, delegates on the floor debated it at length and then voted 98.3 per cent in favour. 

You would never know that from Mr. Cohn's column. Not to sound too old-fashioned, but maybe he should attend the events he covers.

Warren (Smokey) Thomas
President, Ontario Public Service Employees Union