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October 14, 2016

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Sisters and Brothers,

I write this almost one year into the term of the OFL leadership. Since we began we have been working diligently to reinvigorate the OFL, and I am proud to say that our efforts are taking root.
In the first week of October, which we have named the Week for Decent Work, our campaign Make It Fair took to Queen’s Park in cooperation with our community partners Fight for $15 and Fairness. The OFL launched the week with a very successful Rally for Decent Work on October 1. That event brought together people from across our province who want better conditions for Ontario’s workers. Thousands joined us to call for the changes that the Ontario government must make to bring its employment laws up to date.

The workers who spoke at that rally were inspiring. They came from across the province to tell their stories and demand the change that Ontario workers need. We heard calls for significant action including card-check certification, paid sick days for all workers, workers’ rights applied equally across the board, and protections against contract flipping. Unionized, non-unionized and migrant workers stood together to tell the government about the changes they need in Ontario’s employment laws.

The Rally for Decent Work was followed with a Queen’s Park lobby day, where more than 100 labour activists and community members carried the message of employment law reform to more than 60 MPPs.

With the continuation of the Changing Workplaces Review, the labour movement must remain vigilant and continue to educate, inform, tell our stories and push strongly for change. We can and we will build a labour movement that stands united to make sure that the workers of this province get the change they need.

The OFL continues its solidarity work. We applaud the creation of an Anti-Racism Directorate in the province – but we also expect this body to have real power to help combat racism in our communities and workplaces. OFL continues to advocate for legislation to combat domestic violence and the gender wage gap.

Over the course of the summer, I have met with workers across this province and talked with them about the issues that matter to them. I continue to believe the way to succeed in bettering the lives of Ontarians is through a united labour movement, and I encourage all locals to affiliate with their labour councils and the Ontario Federation of Labour. Together we can be bolder, courageous, and stand strong to get the change that Ontario workers need.

I call on each and every one of you to continue to work with us. Together, we’ll raise the standards for all Ontario workers.

In solidarity,

Chris Buckley,

President of the Ontario Federation of Labour

COPE 343


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