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December 1, 2017

Each year, on the day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women we remember the fourteen women who were killed at École Polytechnique in Montreal, and the many others killed and injured in gender-based attacks since then. The Labour movement mourns these women and pledges to continue our work to make the world safe for women and girls whether they are at home or at work.

At the #PowerON OFL Convention, 1200 delegates stood for a moment of silence to demonstrate their commitment to ending violence against women, in the week that Bill 148 revamped Ontario’s labour and employment laws.

“This year the labour movement led the push for the inclusion of paid job protected leave provisions for survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Bill 148,” said OFL President Chris Buckley. “While five days of job protected leave is a good start, it does not go far enough to provide the protection that survivors require, we will continue to push for 10 days paid job protected leave, at the same time as we commit to creating a world without violence against women.”

“Each December 6 we remember the fourteen women killed at École Polytechnique in Montreal, and the many women murdered and injured since then,” said OFL Secretary-Treasurer Patty Coates. “For the five days of domestic violence leave to have a positive effect, we must also push for workplace training on supporting survivors and on providing accommodation for them in the workplace. I am proud to be part of the work the labour movement is doing to support survivors of domestic and sexual violence, and I commit to focusing our movement to ensure an end to gender-based violence in all its forms.”

“As the labour movement works to stop hate across the country, it is important to acknowledge that racialized women, Indigenous women, and women with disabilities are more likely to face domestic and sexual violence,” said OFL Executive Vice-President Ahmad Gaied. “Our work to end violence against women is part and parcel with our work to end able-ism racism, hate, Islamophobia and bigotry.”

At the 2017 OFL Convention, delegates approved the OFL Action Plan, which included the following actions related to gender-based violence:

Action 27: Advocate, along with affiliates, labour councils, and women’s organizations, that all levels of government develop a comprehensive action framework to end violence against women in all forms with a focus on prevention, supports, and services – including ramping up pressure to increase funding for women’s shelters.

Action 28: Collaborate with affiliates to distribute best practices, such as the OFL’s Domestic Violence Goes to Work Every Day: A Bargaining Guide, to bolster equity wins at the bargaining table including for domestic and/or sexual violence.

Action 29: Champion, through the OFL’s Make It Fair campaign, to create a paid leave for survivors of domestic and/or sexual violence.

The OFL has produced a booklet on bargaining domestic violence leave into collective agreements, called Domestic Violence Goes to Work Every Day: A Bargaining Guide.

You can find a list of vigils for the Day of Remembrance and Action, click here.

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