(TORONTO, ON) – The officers and staff of the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) are tremendously heartbroken to learn of the passing of Christopher Robert Schenk, our former Director of Research, on Sunday, July 28, 2019.
“Chris’ untimely passing is a tremendous loss, not just to Ontario’s labour movement but to the entire Canadian trade union community,” said Chris Buckley, OFL President. “From what I know, Chris was a spirited activist for human rights, and he will be greatly missed. My deepest condolences to his family, friends and undoubtedly the many people Chris impacted.”
In his 16 years with the Federation, from 1991 to 2007, “Chris was a dedicated and passionate advocate for workers’ rights,” said Laurie Hardwick, OFL’s Director of Organization Services and Prevention Link.
A long-time educator and researcher in the Canadian labour movement, Schenk worked with OPSEU prior to joining the Federation. Upon his departure from the OFL, he joined the University of Toronto where he taught at the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources.
In March 2012, Schenk was recognized for his dedication to defending union rights with the Sefton Award for Contributions to Labour Relations. The Sefton Award honours individuals who have made a significant contribution to the field of industrial relations.
Schenk was a prolific author who published numerous books and articles, including his latest, where he speaks on ‘issues fundamental to public life today that we need to bring to our educational work in the trade union movement and in our community groups.’
“Chris loved life. But his greatest love were his boys, David and Benjamin, and his wife of many years, Christina,” said Hardwick. “You will be sorely missed, my friend. Rest in peace.”
A celebration of life will be held on October 5, 2019, at the University of Toronto. More details to come.
The OFL represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. For information, visit www.OFL.ca and follow @OFLabour on Facebook and Twitter.
For more information, please contact:
Ontario Federation of Labour
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