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Latest from Convention 2017

Nov
24

Panel tackles “most pressing issue of our time”: Climate change

Teacher Joy Lachica describes recently listening to the radio with her seven-year-old daughter and hearing the announcer talk about a “letter to humanity” signed by over fifteen thousand scientists and warning that life on this planet is in dire jeopardy. “Mama, what does that mean?” her daughter demanded to know. “How do I answer my…

Nov
24

Power ON: Resolutions November 24, 2017

The following resolutions were carried on November 24, 2017 by the Ontario Federation of Labour: Emergency Resolution 1 – Bill 177, Stronger, Fairer Ontario Act #23 – Improve Occupational Health And Safety In Mental Health Workplaces #24 – Education Sector Regulation For The Occupational Health And Safety Act #19 – LGBTQ Mental Health #30 –…

Nov
24

OFL Delegates wear purple, shine light for women

As a gesture of support for survivors of violence against women, delegates at OFL’s final day of convention wore purple as a sign of courage. Lights were dimmed and delegates shone their phone lights which flickered like candles throughout the hall. “December 6 is an opportunity to reflect on the tragedy of what took place…

Nov
24

Short film: 2007-2017 – Redoubling the fight for a fair and just Ontario

For the OFL’s 60th anniversary, we went through our archives to produce a series of short films about the work we’ve done. It’s This convention is the OFL’s 60th anniversary, and we took some time to go into our archives and look back at what we’ve done over the years, to produce some short films…

Nov
24

Power ON: Resolutions November 23, 2017

The following resolutions were carried on November 23, 2017 by the Ontario Federation of Labour: #58 – Shutting Down Hate ER2 – Protect the Autonomy of Health and Safety Inspectors You can find the resolutions book here. For more news from the OFL convention, download the OFL Mobile App. To download the app for Android click…

Nov
23

Panel offers useful lessons on activating voters

If there was one central message from Thursday afternoon it was this: democracy takes work. Following a long debate and eventual vote on resolutions in the Action Plan, delegates at the Power ON 2017 OFL convention heard from several skilled and experienced leaders on how they support civic engagement among their members and communities. Chris…

Nov
23

Desmond Cole: we are fighting for a safer, more equitable province

Thursday, November 23 political activist and journalist Desmond Cole made a surprise and welcome appearance at the OFL Power ON 14th Biennial Convention. He began by thanking the people who supported his court appearance, on behalf of Dafonte Miller, and all those who have experienced police brutality. Cole was arrested in July after staging a…

Nov
23

There is no health without mental health

“No workplace is immune to mental illness,” said Vinay Sharma, National Representative, Health & Safety with UNIFOR. “Much like diabetes, heart disease or a broken leg – individuals can recover from mental illness, but it must be treated.” Sharma was moderating Mental Health: Health & Safety / Workers’ Compensation Forum at the OFL convention on…

Nov
23

Yolanda McClean’s work for Ontario labour recognised with Cliff Pilkey Award

At the 14th biennial OFL convention in Toronto, Yolanda McClean of CUPE Local 4400 and CUPE Ontario, was presented with the Cliff Pilkey Labour Activist Award. The award recognizes the outstanding contributions of a worker or retiree who has made a significant impact on the labour movement and community. Clifford George (Cliff) Pilkey was a…

Nov
23

Linda Jolley Lifetime Achievement Award for Health and Safety: Valence Young

Valence Young, a recently retired Executive Assistant as the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario, was presented the Linda Jolley Lifetime Achievement Award at the Ontario Federation of Labour’s 2017 Power ON Convention. Young’s advocacy in health and safety began as a worker representative on a Joint Health and Safety Committee where she participated in work…

Nov
23

Eugene Lefrancois presented with OFL cultural award

The labour movement has historically and famously demanded both bread and roses. Building and supporting cultural and arts communities are vital to our movement, as workers are whole people with interests, hopes and hobbies. The Ontario Federation of Labour presents the Cultural Award to an artist or union member whose work has featured or furthered…

Nov
23

Rising Against Hate: We Must Act

“The rise of hate, white supremacy is not new to the labour movement, but we need to be concerned. We must act,” said moderator, Walied Khogali, Leader with the Coalition Against White Supremacy & Islamophobia. Panelists took to the OFL Convention stage on Wednesday afternoon to discuss strategies to mobilize and work against rising oppression…

Nov
22

Power ON: Resolutions November 22, 2017

The following resolutions were carried on November 22, 2017 by the Ontario Federation of Labour: Emergency Resolution 1 – Bill 177, Stronger, Fairer Ontario Act – carried 15 – Indigenous Representative Workforce – carried 17 – Including LGBTQ Communities In The Census – carried 22 – HIV Stigma – carried You can find the resolutions…

Nov
22

Ontario’s unions celebrate passage of Bill 148 during rally at Queen’s Park

Several main streets in Toronto’s downtown core were unrecognizable on Wednesday afternoon, brimming with over a thousand union activists on their way to rally for decent work at Queen’s Park. Chants and whistles ricocheted off buildings while union flags and placards bobbed as the stream of delegates, observers and guests of the Ontario Federation of…

Nov
22

Jeewan Chanicka inspires workers to continue the hard work of social justice

Following honest and productive discussion on human rights resolutions, the OFL convention heard from Jeewan Chanicka. Chanicka is an educator and community activist who lives in Toronto, Ontario and most recently worked at the Inclusive Education Branch within Ontario’s Ministry of Education. Chanicka spoke directly to workers affected by racism, colonialism, and other systems of…

Nov
22

Short Film: 1987-1997: From Free Trade to Days of Action

This convention is the OFL’s 60th anniversary, and we took some time to go into our archives and look back at what we’ve done over the years, to produce some short films about our work. This is 1987-1997: From Free Trade to Days of Action With thanks to the production team: Meagan Perry, Datejie Green,…

Nov
22

OFL celebrates Bill 148 and will continue to Power ON for decent work

(TORONTO, ON) – Delegates of the Ontario Federation of Labour’s (OFL) Power ON convention took to the streets today in solidarity, marching for fairness, unity and justice for all working Ontarians, as part of the OFL 14th Biennial Convention. “Decent work is the foundation of strong, healthy and sustainable Ontario communities,” said OFL President Chris…

Nov
22

2017 OFL Bob Borch Human Rights Award

The late Stan Raper was awarded the Bob Borch award today at the OFL’s biennial convention for his work advocating for the rights of migrant workers. The award recognizes individuals who promote the human rights of workers. Raper dedicated his life to the goals and aspirations of the Ontario labour movement, and the human rights…

Nov
21

A world without violence needn’t sound like science fiction: advocate

Farrah Khan says she wants her job eliminated. It was an odd statement to hear, until she talked about why. As a long-time advocate and the current Co-Chair of Ontario’s Roundtable on Violence Against Women, Khan told delegates at the OFL convention that it’s sadly not likely to happen. “Equity, consent culture, the end of…

Nov
21

Olivia Chow Child Care Champion Award – Carrie Lynn Poole-Cotnam

Carrie Lynne Poole-Cotnam, the chair of CUPE Ontario Social Services Sector, is this year’s winner of the Olivia Chow Child Care Champion Award which she accepted at the Ontario Federation of Labour’s 2017 Power ON convention, in Toronto. In her role, Poole-Cotnam supports the work of the three-child care advocates on a Social Services Committee…

Nov
21

CLC President Hassan Yussuff: Together we can improve lives across Canada

On Tuesday morning, Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) President, Hassan Yussuff spoke to delegates at the OFL Convention in Toronto. “Look at what you’ve accomplished in the 60 years since the OFL was first founded. You’ve continued to demand better for Ontario workers,” said Yussuff. “I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished together.” Yussuff thanked President…

Nov
21

Chris Buckley, Patty Coates, and Ahmad Gaied to lead the OFL forward to 2019

(TORONTO, ON) – Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) delegates have elected incumbent Chris Buckley and his leadership team, Secretary-Treasurer Patty Coates and Executive Vice-President Ahmad Gaied to lead the Federation until 2019. “It’s a tremendous honour that the OFL delegates have elected this team to move the federation forward into the next two years,” said…

Nov
21

OFL to hold rally for fairness, unity and justice for all workers

(TORONTO, ON) – The Ontario Federation of Labour will lead a rally to stop hate, build unity and fight for decent work, on November 22, in Toronto. The rally for fairness, unity, and justice is part of the OFL 14th Biennial Convention. Community members are invited to join the rally and march, which will start…

Nov
21

Love and Courage: Jagmeet Singh pledges solidarity to build a just society

Leader of the federal NDP, Jagmeet Singh, brought an invigorating, progressive message to the Ontario Federation of Labour’s 14th Biennial Convention on November 21. To a packed and buzzing crowd, Singh opened his address with, “big ups,” for labour’s principled and effective activism in Ontario. Singh referred to both the tireless work of people across…

Nov
21

Ontario unions must grow to support more workers: panel

Organizing is no small challenge, and at the OFL Power ON 2017 convention a panel of organizers took the stage to share their experience and knowledge of organizing. Millions of Canadians say they would be open to joining a union, delegates heard during Tuesday’s panel “Activating our Decent Work Agenda: Hit the Ground Running”. “As…

Nov
20

OFL Young Workers’ Award winner: Kumsa Baker

Kumsa Baker, a research analyst with UNITE HERE Local 75, was awarded the 2017 Ontario Federation of Labour’s Young Workers Award at the Power ON convention in Toronto. Baker is just 24, and is part of a new breed of fellow like-minded campaigners in Local 75 that is working to open and expand the union…

Nov
20

Young workers forum talks organizing against poor conditions

Acid burns that blacken skin, sixteen-hour workdays with no overtime pay, racial slurs, even physical assault: those are some of the horrific experiences precarious workers in Ontario endure. The “Decent Work Now and in the Future” panel described these all-too-common experiences on Monday afternoon at the OFL Convention. As panelists described their experiences with unscrupulous…

Nov
20

Andrea Horwath’s vision of hope and opportunity

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…

Nov
20

Power ON: Resolutions November 20, 2017

The following resolutions were carried on November 20 by the Ontario Federation of Labour: Resolution 45: Creation of Labour Council Builder Award, in the memory of Jim Freeman Resolution 46: Social Stewards Network Resolution 10: Equal Pay for Equal Work Resolution 71: University Funding Resolution 7: Tax New Technologies You can find the resolutions book…

Nov
20

#PowerON: OFL’s 60th anniversary convention off to a powerful start

“If not us, then who?” In his opening address at its 14th Biennial Convention in Toronto, the Ontario Federation of Labour President Chris Buckley, asked the more than 1000 gathered delegates to consider the federation’s sixty years of successful organizing for workers’ rights and dignity, and what that means for the work of the federation…

Nov
18

OFL Young Workers’ Assembly: a powerful day of activism and allyship

Over 100 workers from across Ontario attended the OFL Young Workers’ Assembly at the Sheraton Centre Toronto on November 18. Ontario Federation of Labour President Chris Buckley, opened the day with an inspiring welcome to the group. “Each and every one of you deserves decent work and a good job,” said Buckley. “And I want…

Nov
15

OFL to celebrate 60th anniversary at #Power ON Biennial Convention

(TORONTO, ON) – The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) will hold its 14th Biennial Convention, under the banner “Power ON” from November 20 to 24, 2017 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel. “This gathering of like-minded labour activists is a knowledge sharing opportunity to discuss key issues facing labour today,” said OFL President Chris Buckley.…

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