Telus and the sordid past of Canada Post and CSIS
hiring of Michael Thompson recalls Andrew Mitrovica's sensational 2002
Ottawa - The shady links between Canada Post and
the Canadian Security Intelligence
especially those aimed at unionized postal workers, date back decades.
It's a sordid history of lawbreaking and underhanded tactics by
Canada's biggest Crown corporation in co-operation with the country's
national intelligence agency.
The tale was documented in detail in Andrew Mitrovica's 2002 book
Covert Entry: Spies, Lies and Crimes Inside Canada’s Secret
Service - a publication that, surprisingly, received almost no
attention in the Canadian media despite its sensational allegations.
Therefore, it comes as no great surprise that such activities may occur
elsewhere in the country, especially when a major strike or lockout is
The latest example involves the current lockout of Telecommunications
Workers Union members (TWU) by Telus Communications Inc. Some 13,000
workers have been off the job since July 21.
A news release issued this week by the Canadian Union of Postal
Workers reports that Michael Thompson, a former Canada Post
corporation security chief implicated in spying and illegal covert
activities against CUPW leaders in the 1990’s, has recently taken on a
role that places him in position to affect the Telus dispute.
Accufax Investigations (AFI International Group) has hired Thompson as
an executive vice-president. The company cited his "esteemed career"
and boasted about the "preventative programs" he will assist it in
Translation? AFI specializes in providing strike-busting services to
the corporate sector, and Telus is one of the AFI's major clients.
“We don’t think this is a coincidence”, says CUPW National President
Deborah Bourque. “AFI is a notorious strikebreaking firm and we are
worried the hiring of Thompson may have ugly consequences for TWU
activists,” Bourque says.
CUPW says Thompson’s "unsavoury tale" in past Canada Post labour
disputes is detailed in Mitrovica’s book.
Evert Hoogers, a CUPW national union representative, says Thompson
ordered his inspectors to investigate and collect information on
"virtually every facet of postal union activists’ lives.”
“The list included financial information, telephone records, intimate
details of workers’ personal relationships and, disturbingly, even the
names and addresses of the schools attended by union leaders’
children," Hoogers says.
“Any corporation allowing covert actions such as these utterly
disrespects its workers and their union," adds Bourque.
“If Telus, either on its own or through AFI, contemplates a similar
course of action, it will reap the same response Canada Post did in
the 1990s – poisoned labour relations, a state of war between workers
and their employer, and a sullied reputation in the minds of the
public and potential customers.” NUPGE
Web posted by NUPGE:
31 August 2005