Over 800 labour activists, including 83 OSSTF/FEESO members took part in the Ontario Federation of Labour’s (OFL) Power of Many: Take Back Ontario Conference on March 25 in Toronto. Situated as a Political Action conference and designed strategically as a day of unification in labour’s resistance to the Ford Government, the event gave delegates an opportunity to hear from a number of passionate and informative speakers as well as a chance to learn about the coordinated efforts of the OFL.
OSSTF/FEESO President Harvey Bischof was one of the first labour leaders to take the mic on the floor, and his words brought the house to their feet. He called Ford’s recent allegation that union leaders are misappropriating and pocketing their members’ dues, “an absolutely disgusting accusation that he makes because he only sees the world through the lens of personal and individual gain and can’t imagine people joining together to help one another. He despises that kind of solidarity.”
Bischof also noted that Ford “is warning that he is completely willing to abrogate our collective bargaining rights. If he does that, education unions alone will not be able to change his course. We will need all of your support.”
This set the tone for the day. Each presentation and speaker reminded us of the Power of Many. Each step of the plan to fight Ford’s assault on the workers and families of Ontario is set to unite us. These steps include some important rally dates:
- April 6–Rally for Education (see page 3 of this Update issue for a summary of this historic event)
- April 17—Province-Wide Day of Action (Responding to the April 11 Budget at the Community Level)
- April 30—Ontario Health Coalition—Rally at Queen’s Park
- June 7/8—Province-Wide and Regional Days of Action
For more information about what the OFL’s Power of Many campaign, visit their website at www.ofl.ca/event/power-of-many-take-back-ontario-conference.