“The never ending struggle”

“…Peter Marcelline, then the immediate past-chairman of the Caribbean Cultural Committee, (Caribana), who in 1994 arranged for Kidd to accompany him at Local 79 expense to a “Solidarity for Cuba” convention, held in Windsor because the Cuban delegates were denied admittance to the U.S.” 

Jeff Goodall, “Fight Back”: October 21st, 2002.

Once politics are in your blood, you will never be free until you die. While I have lost track of some friends in the workplace, and some who were active in Local 79, I still cannot stop taking an interest in what happens to the union and its members. This is an election year for the Local, and I am grieved at the direction things are taking.

Running against incumbent Ann Dembinski for President is Steve Kenney, a man who established a solid reputation for poor reliability and doubtful judgement in his days as Unit Officer (chief steward) for the then-City of Toronto Unit prior to amalgamation. I have mentioned him in a previous column, in late 1998 after he took a leading part in having me barred from the Local 79 shop stewards’ meetings following the publication of my column “The nature of the beast”. In that article, I identified and explored the communist activities of a number of Local 79 members in leadership positions. Speaking in favour of the motion to bar me, Kenney said “Some of my best friends are communists”. Also running for President is David Kidd, referred to in detail below.

As Steve Kenney now wishes to be President of Local 79, let’s go back to my previous column and see just exactly who and what he was standing up for in his attack on me. Speaking of the Toronto “Days of Action” in 1996, I said “The October, 1996 issue of People’s Voice devoted six pages to the Days of Action…Local 79 booked off two people for six weeks each to visit Local 79 workplaces to encourage the members to go out. One was Communist David Kidd, then a Local 79 Executive Board member and now a Unit Officer, who is credited with helping to cost Metro the Olympic Games a few years ago by “camping out” in 1990 in the lobby of a Tokyo hotel with Jan Borowy. Both Kidd and Borowy were members of the Bread Not Circuses Coalition steering committee…Also involved in Local 79’s efforts was Peter Marcelline, then the immediate past-chairman of the Caribbean Cultural Committee, (Caribana), who in 1994 arranged for Kidd to accompany him at Local 79 expense to a “Solidarity for Cuba” convention, held in Windsor because the Cuban delegates were denied admittance to the U.S.

At present, while candidates for many of the offices have shown their hand, many have not. Nominations will be taken at the October General Meeting, and then the campaigning will begin. In addition to Kidd and Kenney, among those who have declared their intentions is Tim Maguire, running for 2nd Vice-President on the Kenney slate. As he and Kidd have always worked closely together both in political activities and on previous campaigns, it is likely that Kidd is hoping to split incumbent Ann Dembinski’s vote, putting either himself in the top spot, or Steve Kenney, with Maguire on the inside to report back and provide influence as needed.

Ex-President Anne Dubas is running for Treasurer on Kenney’s slate, and has reportedly issued a viciously personal attack on Ann Dembinski which I am obtaining a copy of. The long-suffering Dembinski has been in the senior echelons of Local 79 for years, and has acquired solid bargaining experience. She is a serious obstacle to the takeover of the Local by Communist and other “progressive” elements, and deserves support for her courageous stand.

Jeff Goodall worked for the Metro Treasury and City Finance Departments for 25 years, and served as a member of the CUPE Local 79 Executive Board for 14 of those years.

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