Toronto Women’s Bookstore gets its buttons pushedIn the October 10 issue, The Varsity printed a letter that contained erroneous statements about the Toronto Women’s Bookstore. There has been much confusion and misunderstanding about the buttons that are sold at our bookstore. In response to some of the criticism we have received, it has become necessary to state the following: We call for peace with justice in Israel and Palestine. We denounce violence. We condemn suicide bombings. We condemn the bombings of the occupation. We do not support the killing of civilians in any conflict. We believe that a call to end the occupation represents a number of political interests and movements, as well as being consistent with supporting human rights—the rights of both Palestinians and Israelis to co-exist, to live side by side in peace and security, with self-determination. We do not sell buttons that support violence in the Middle East. The buttons we sell promote women’s rights and peace in Palestine and Israel. There have been concerns raised about our decision to sell buttons with political themes. We are a political bookstore. We carry a wide array of political buttons, addressing issues of violence against women, poverty, police brutality, the Tory government and homelessness. Twenty-nine years ago the Toronto Women’s Bookstore was founded on the principles of the women’s liberation movement. As an independent, feminist bookstore, we encourage discussion, ideas, critical thinking, and engagement with complexity. We believe, in the feminist tradition, that it is through dialogue that we can work across our differences. for the Toronto Women’s Bookstore May Lui, Co-Manager Anjula Gogia, Co-Manager Esther Vise, Board Member Steelworkers’ union should weld new frameworkThank you for Graham Scott’s reports of Oct. 3 and Oct. 10 concerning the negotiations between the university and USWA Local 1998, representing U of T’s 5,000 administrative staff members. The Varsity is wise to take an interest in these negotiations. They will have an impact on U of T as a place of study.A productive relationship between the university and its staff in future will depend on the willingness of both management and the union to adopt a new framework to (among other things) guide collective bargaining. There are forces in both management and the union that prefer to view the university as a locus of struggle in which the interests of the community are pitted against the interests of the workers. It is safe to say that if the class warriors prevail, we could face years of sullen strife that will hold U of T back and hurt students, faculty and staff alike.The current negotiations won’t result in a new framework, but they may lead to recognition of the need for one. The real work, if it takes place at all, will begin after a new contract is ratified and after local union elections in the spring, and will involve the university’s academic and administrative leadership, Governing Council, USWA Local 1998, the faculty and students. George Cook, USWA Local 1998

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