OFL Convention Report

OFL convention

Toronto Ontario Federation of Labour

(TORONTO, ON) – The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) kicked off its 14th Biennial Convention, under the banner “Power ON” Monday 20th of November, 2017 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel. Labour activists from across Ontario are in attendance to share knowledge and  discuss  key issues facing labour today,

Resolutions 2017
Link to Convention 2017 Power ON


Images from the OFL are posted on our Flickr site click here




Chris Buckley was re-elected President of the OFL. Patty Coates was acclaimed Secretary-Treasurer, and Ahmad Gaied was acclaimed Vice-President. “It’s a tremendous honour that the OFL delegates have elected this team to move the federation forward into the next two years,” said Ontario Federation of Labour President Chris Buckley. “Patty Coates and Ahmad Gaied and I have pushed strongly for fair employment and labour laws over the last two years and we are going to continue to build on what’s been won until there is fairness for all in this province.”


(OFL TORONTO) Monday 20TH NOVEMBER 2017 THIS 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 Ontario,” said Horwath. “The OFL is leading the charge for the progressive change that workers need,” she added.

Horwath commended delegates for their commitment to improving the lives of workers. She spoke about the OFL’s Make it Fair campaign, and its community partner the Fight for $15 and Fairness as examples of strong campaigns led by Ontario activists.

She said that the NDP recognizes the labour movement as a founding partner, and that the party will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with workers and unions.

“We stand with you against anti-labour, regressive back-to-work legislation that tramples the rights of working people,” she said of the legislation that passed Sunday night, ordering Ontario college faculty, members of OPSEU, back to work.

“We knew we would take some heat but we were proud to stand for what is right,” said Horwath. “I would do it all over again.”

Andrea Horwath told the crowd “The best ticket out of poverty is a union card.”

Horwath said that if she is elected premier in next year’s election, the NDP is committed to championing good jobs, decent wages and safe workplaces.

“No worker should ever be injured or killed on the job in Ontario. Even one death is too many,” she said.

Other priorities included paid sick days and emergency leave for every worker, restoring card-check certification  to ensure that all workers in Ontario can join a union and paid leave for victims of domestic violence

“Survivors of domestic violence who have to keep their kids safe shouldn’t have to worry about losing their paychecks or their jobs,” said Horwath.

“The labour movement is not a movement built on fear. It is built on hope,” she said. “Let’s deliver change together.”

(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 Buckley. “The simple reality is that you can’t have justice and fairness for all workers without decent working conditions. Together we must Power ON and call on the government to implement fair wages, end racial discrimination, and ensure equity across the province.”

Bill 148, which passed 3rd reading in the Legislature today, amends the Labour Relations Act and the Employment Standards Act. This is the first review of those laws in over two decades and will set workplace standards in Ontario for all future workers – whether they are part of a union or not.

“Today is a huge victory in the ongoing fight to raise the bar for all workers in this province. The passing of Bill 148 is the result of many hard-fought struggles – by workers across this province, by the labour movement, and by our community partners. The collective voice of millions demanded immediate action to modernize our labour and employment laws. That said, the law needs to go further to better safeguard decent work for generations to come. It must reflect what these workers and so many others face every day, including low wages, no access to unions and no job security. More changes are needed to support decent work.” said Buckley.

In its most recent submission on the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Actthe OFL made several recommendations to improve the legislation for workers.

The OFL’s www.MakeItFair.ca campaign takes on issues of inequality in the workforce, and coincides with the province’s “Changing Workplaces Review.” The campaign gives voice to unions’ demands for across-the-board changes to the Employment Standards Act and the Labour Relations Act that would improve standards for every worker and make it easier for them to join a union.


This convention is the OFL’s 60th anniversary, the OFL  went to the  to thier archives and look back at what has happened  over the years, to produce some short films about our work.


Short film 1957-1977: The Courage to Lead: Building Social Democracy in Ontario


Whereas the OFL needs to support the development of leaders within our movement to respond to the challenges ahead;

Whereas the growth of precarious employment within our membership often restricts the amount of on the job training possibilities for new union leaders;

Whereas succession planning that supports new leadership development will ensure the ongoing health of Ontario’s labour movement.

Therefore be it resolved that the OFL will develop an equity and inclusion program for affiliates to promote ongoing leadership succession planning that is inclusive of young workers and members of equity-seeking groups, to be presented to the 2019 OFL convention;

Therefore be it further resolved that the OFL will establish a training and mentoring program by reviewing successful practices within civil society organizations and other unions, including the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO).


OFL make it fair

The Ontario government is currently reviewing the province’s employment laws. “Make it Fair” is a campaign of the Ontario Federation of Labour to mobilize labour unions to fight for labour law reform, in solidarity with the Fight for $15 and Fairness campaign.  Sign up to receive updates from Make It Fair. Talk to your friends, family, and colleagues about the need for laws that create the conditions for decent work in Ontario. Follow Make It Fair on facebook, and follow @OFLabour on twitter to stay up to date on the campaign.