The new president of the Ontario Federation of Labour, Chris Buckley from Unifor Local 222, came to Ontario Regional Council this morning calling on more Unifor locals to join him and his new team in uniting the labour movement in the province.
“My goal is to unite the labour movement across Ontario,” said Buckley, chosen just a week before as the new president of the OFL.
Also elected were Secretary-Treasurer Patty Coates from the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation and Ahmad Gaied from United Food and Commercial Workers. Both ran on a slate with Buckley and were endorsed by Unifor.
Buckley thanked the national leadership of Unifor, the executive to the ORC and delegates from across Ontario for their support during his campaign to be president. He particularly thanked Unifor Communications Staff Representative Shannon Devine for her work, announcing that Devine will be his chief of staff at the OFL.
“There are some big challenges ahead of us,” Buckley said. “But we will be stronger when we are together.”
Buckley committed to improving protections for contract workers, making it easier for all workers to join a union, first contract arbitration, making employers responsible for temp agencies, and closing the gender salary gap.
“For years a huge cloud of uncertainty has hung over working people,” Buckley said. “We are going to push that cloud aside, and finally let some sunshine in for workers in Ontario.”
Buckley encouraged locals not yet affiliated with the OFL to join and be both a part of these efforts and a united house of labour.