Windsor Star “made up quotes,” says union president

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario president Sid Ryan has accused a Windsor Star columnist of “manufacturing a key quote.”

The quote appeared in a June 16 column by Chris Vander Doelen called “City faces a long summer” about a nine-week-old municipal employee strike.

Vander Doelen wrote:

“And that’s what Ryan told the troops during his speech in front of city hall last week: No matter what city negotiators offer next Tuesday, he told them last Friday, ‘it won’t be enough.'”

In a press release Ryan said “an extensive review of the speech reveals no such utterance ever occurred”  He added:

“There are core principles that good journalism adheres to. Throughout the strike we have had continued discussions with the newspaper calling on them to uphold these principles. Manufacturing a key quote is the last straw. It’s not just about a columnist taking potshots at me. This latest incident, at best, is a gross misstatement and the last straw. It is about a consistent effort by this newspaper to undermine CUPE’s credibility with the residents of Windsor and to demonize and demoralize those women and men who have stood fast in the face of relentless attacks on the opinion and editorial pages of the paper.”

The Star published a June 11 column by Ryan about the strike called “Arbitration is not a four-letter word.”

The speech in question can be viewed here.

At the end of the speech, Ryan criticized the Star‘s coverage of the strike. He said:

“Do not allow The Windsor Star to demoralize you. Do not allow that rag of a newspaper to demoralize you. They’ve absolutely no impartiality whatsoever. They quote unnamed sources every day of the week that demonize our members. Every day of the week there’s a new story with unnamed sources. A few days ago you have a guy named Vander Doelen, he goes out and he allegedly interviews two administrators from the hospital system. No names of course but they’re already saying that that arbitration system is in the back pocket of the labour movement. And that gets quoted as fact in those newspapers.”