Structure and Operations
Their members elect delegates to OFL conventions which are held every two years to set policy and elect leaders.
OFL Conventions are held every two years in November and is the governing body of the Federation. All affiliated unions, their locals and labour councils define the agenda of the labour movement 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.
Delegates to the Convention elect the OFL’s full-time officers for two-year terms: President, Secretary-Treasurer and Executive Vice-President.
The OFL Executive Board manages the affairs of the Federation between Conventions. It has the power to conduct all of the operation and affairs of the Federation, carry out the decision and instructions of the convention and enforce the OFL Constitution.
The Executive Board consists of the three full-time Officers and 33 Vice-Presidents. Of these Vice-Presidents, 15 represent the 15 largest affiliates and eight are affirmative action positions for women from the four largest public and private sector affiliates. The Executive Board includes dedicated representation for Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, workers of colour, young workers, LGBT workers and labour councils. These representatives are elected at Convention through Caucuses comprised of delegates who self-identify with the particular group.
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. To accomplish these goals labour councils must be supported through the active affiliation and involvement of all unions in the community.
Executive Board members chair the various OFL standing committees which coordinate the labour movement’s work with respect to ongoing policy concerns and equity issues. In addition, special committees can be established to deal with particular issues as they arise.
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.
However, the strength of the labour movement comes from its membership and the OFL Conventions are the highest decision-making body where members debate and decide a wide range of issues, policy papers, campaigns and initiatives.
For information on joining the OFL, click here