November 20, 2017
Monday afternoon, delegates warmly welcomed Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath to the OFL convention. Horwath’s introduction was met with loud cheers and a standing ovation, as she greeted delegates on her way to the main stage.
“I want to thank President Buckley for your strong leadership and your incredible dedication to the labour movement in Ontario,” said Horwath. “The OFL is leading the charge for the progressive change that workers need,” she added.
Horwath commended delegates for their commitment to improving the lives of workers. She spoke about the OFL’s Make it Fair campaign, and its community partner the Fight for $15 and Fairness as examples of strong campaigns led by Ontario activists.
She said that the NDP recognizes the labour movement as a founding partner, and that the party will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with workers and unions.
“We stand with you against anti-labour, regressive back-to-work legislation that tramples the rights of working people,” she said of the legislation that passed Sunday night, ordering Ontario college faculty, members of OPSEU, back to work.
“We knew we would take some heat but we were proud to stand for what is right,” said Horwath. “I would do it all over again.”
Horwath said that if she is elected premier in next year’s election, the NDP is committed to championing good jobs, decent wages and safe workplaces.
“No worker should ever be injured or killed on the job in Ontario. Even one death is too many,” she said.
Other priorities included paid sick days and emergency leave for every worker, restoring card-check certification to ensure that all workers in Ontario can join a union and paid leave for victims of domestic violence
“Survivors of domestic violence who have to keep their kids safe shouldn’t have to worry about losing their paychecks or their jobs,” said Horwath.
“The labour movement is not a movement built on fear. It is built on hope,” she said. “Let’s deliver change together.”
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