(TORONTO, ON) ─ At their annual convention Thursday, 1,700 delegates of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) voted 93.8 percent in favour of restoring their membership in the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL). It was a decision met with thunderous applause. All three OFL officers were present in the convention hall as OPSEU delegates voted to end a five year hiatus from the umbrella group that represents the province’s working people and their unions.
“Today’s decision is a momentous one for Ontario’s labour movement,” said Buckley. “It is amazing news for the OFL, but it is also amazing news for working people across the province, because a united labour movement has the capacity to shift public policy and build a better province.”
OPSEU let its membership in the OFL lapse in August 2011, along with three other unions. In November 2015, the OFL membership elected a new team of officers on a platform of progress and unity. Since then, relations have been restored, as the OFL and OPSEU have begun collaborating on key campaigns to oppose the sale of Hydro One, win employment law reform and close the gender wage gap.
“There will always be differences among unions, just as there are differences among people, but I believe we can harness these differences to change our province for the better,” said President Chris Buckley. “Today’s decision is an overwhelming display of labour solidarity in Ontario. It is a signal of a movement of workers that united in our collective goals to halt the privatization agenda, to make our workplaces safer, to close the gender wage gap and make sweeping changes to employment laws that will raise the bar for all workers.”
“The resolution our convention passed today tells me, in no uncertain terms, that our members want to be back in the Ontario Federation of Labour,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “I and my Executive Board are looking forward to negotiating the details that will make it happen as soon as possible.”
“On behalf of Ontario’s one million unionized workers, I am pleased to welcome OPSEU members back into the house of labour and I want to personally thank the OPSEU leadership, staff and membership for their tireless work for a better province. OPSEU’s dedication to a progressive province has never abated, but we are unquestionable stronger when we are working together,” said Buckley
For further information:
Joel Duff, OFL Communications Director: 416-707-0349 (cell) or firstname.lastname@example.org *ENG/FRENCH