About the OFL | The Ontario Federation of Labour

About the OFL

Who we are

Just as workers unite in a union to protect their rights, unions also unite in federations of labour to fight for better working and living conditions. The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) serves as an umbrella group for working people and their unions.

From our inception in 1957, the OFL has grown to represent over one million Ontario workers belonging to more than 1,500 locals from 54 affiliated unions, making us Canada’s largest labour federation. Our strong membership and constant vigilance make us a formidable political voice.

What we do

We push for legislative change in every area that affects people’s daily lives. Areas like health, education, workplace safety, minimum wage and other employment standards, human rights, women’s rights, workers’ compensation, and pensions.

We also make regular presentations and submissions to the Ontario government and mount internal and public awareness campaigns to mobilize the kind of political pressure that secures positive change for all workers – whether you belong to a union or not.

To accomplish these goals, we work with affiliated local unions and labour councils across the province. We also partner with other community and social justice organizations to build a fairer and more inclusive society that meets everyone’s needs.

Why it matters

Just as workers unite in a union to protect their rights, unions also unite in federations of labour to fight for better working and living conditions. The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) serves as an umbrella group for working people and their unions.

From our inception in 1957, the OFL has grown to represent over one million Ontario workers belonging to more than 1,500 locals from 54 affiliated unions, making us Canada’s largest labour federation. Our strong membership and constant vigilance make us a formidable political voice.

Join the OFL

To affiliate to the OFL, your union must be a member of (or be prepared to join) the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC).

The OFL per capita is $0.63 per member, per month, based on your monthly membership.

Affiliation Package

Structure and Operations

Conventions are the governing body of the Federation where members debate and decide a wide range of issues, policy papers, campaigns and initiatives.

OFL Conventions are held every two years in November. All affiliated unions, their locals and labour councils define the agenda by sending policy resolutions on issues of concern and sending elected delegates to represent them at these conventions. Convention information is mailed to all affiliates in August of convention year.

OFFICERS

Delegates to the Convention elect the OFL’s full-time officers for two-year terms: President, Secretary-Treasurer and Executive Vice-President.

Patty Coates

President

info@ofl.ca

@PattyCoates

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Ahmad Gaied

Secretary-Treasurer

info@ofl.ca

@AhmadGaiedOFL

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Janice Folk-Dawson

Executive Vice-President

jfolkdawson@ofl.ca

@FolkDawson

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OFL EXECUTIVE Committee

The OFL Executive Committee is responsible for the administration and activities of the Federation, and the OFL’s occupational disability prevention program, Prevention Link. The Executive Committee is responsible for overseeing the implementation of OFL policies and procedures. Review and approval of all expenditures of the Federation. Recommendations to the Executive Board concerning policies, adoption of annual budgets and approval of financial statements, and approval of collective bargaining settlements with OFL staff and terms and compensation for excluded staff. The Executive Committee meets at least four times a year, in advance of OFL Executive Board meetings.

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OFL EXECUTIVE BOARD

The OFL Executive Board meets between Conventions to carry out decisions and instructions. The Executive Board is composed of the three full-time Officers and 33 Vice-Presidents. It includes affiliate representatives, and dedicated representation for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people, persons with disabilities, workers of colour, young workers, LGBT workers and labour councils.

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OFL EXECUTIVE Council

The OFL also has an Executive Council that is made up of the Executive Board and a representative of each of the over 40 labour councils from across Ontario. Labour councils play an important role in their communities by bringing together affiliates at the local level. The active involvement of labour councils in OFL campaigns and actions ensures that the Convention policies are implemented across the province.

Together, these structures of the Ontario Federation of Labour provide multiple ways for members’ diverse and regional interests to be represented. This ensures that OFL policies and campaigns reflect the interest of every worker. The OFL staff work tirelessly to implement the will of the membership and provide an invaluable resource to the labour movement.

Download the OFL Constitution here.

Equality Statement

The Ontario Federation of Labour is committed to providing an inclusive, positive environment at all Federation activities and ensuring that all individuals are treated with respect and dignity.

Union solidarity is based on the belief that people are equal and deserve respect. Words, actions or conduct which are racist, sexist, homophobic or transphobic divide us. Discrimination based on disability, age, religion, language and ethnic origin also divides us.

As trade unionists, mutual respect, cooperation and acceptance are our goals. Behaviour that embarrasses, humiliates, excludes or intimidates prevents us from working together and will not be tolerated nor condoned.

Harassment is unwelcome action by any person whether verbal, psychological or physical, on a single or repeated basis, which humiliates, insults or degrades.

Bullying is unwanted conduct, comments, actions, or gestures that affect a person’s dignity, psychological or physical health and well-being. Bullying may result from the actions of one individual towards another, or from the behavior of a group. It is the abuse of perceived power that degrades, threatens and/or intimidates.

Trade union principles prohibit us from infringing on the human rights of others and oblige us to unite together to protect rights when others are attacked or victimized.

The Ontario Federation of Labour does not condone or tolerate harassment, bullying or discrimination or any behaviour that creates an intimidating or hostile environment. All complaints will be investigated through the Resolution and Complaint Procedure.

The OFL’s policies and practices must reflect our collective commitment to equality. Our work must demonstrate that all persons deserve dignity, equality and respect.