March 7, 2018
The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) President Chris Buckley today issued a tough call for the restoration of unity in the province’s labour movement and an immediate end to raiding of some unions by others.
The practice of raiding is not new, as history has proven – it only serves to disrupt and divide us. “Through-out our sixty-year history as a Federation many unions have engaged in or been the target of raiding, we have never condoned such interference in the past, and we are not starting today,” Buckley said.
“When Ontario workers are under daily attack by employers trying to depress their wages, cut their pensions, privatize our public services and when workers are facing threats to their health and safety at work, including chronic mental stress and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and even facing the threat of workplace violence, it is completely unacceptable to me as a labour leader, and especially as someone who’s roots are in Unifor, that our labour movement has been divided and turned inward and against itself,” Buckley added.
Now more than ever, while workers across Canada grapple with the threat of impending tariffs on certain sectors of our economy and ‘Buy American’ provisions that have emerged from the White House, and in State Houses, a united and resilient Canadian labour movement is essential.
We know we are stronger together, we owe it to those activists that drive the work of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), the Federation and of course, Labour Councils – which is the foundation of our movement, to find a resolve, to build upon our strength in unity.
“That is why today, I reaffirm, the number one priority of this Federation, is to rebuild a united labour movement in Ontario, to end raiding once and for all and to ensure there is a meaningful internal process in our movement so that workers who may feel dissatisfied can be heard.”
“I call on the leadership of Unifor to acknowledge that a house divided cannot stand, that all Ontario workers, the members of Unifor included, deserve the level of representation, advocacy and protection that is only possible when our movement is united and is not waging predatory attacks on each other.”
Buckley also said the OFL will continue to offer required resources to UNITE HERE! Local 75, and commits to working with the CLC in encouraging affiliates to assist with the provision of needed support to UNITE HERE! Local 75.
The OFL calls on the leadership of Unifor to declare an immediate and absolute cessation to all raiding of UNITE HERE! Local 75, and any interference in the business of international unions. Further, the OFL calls on Unifor to commit to immediate discussions with the CLC to define the conditions that will lead to their re-entry into the House of Labour.