Ontario Federation of Labour

April 21, 2009, 3:19 PM EST

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Delegates approved a recommendation that calls on the CAW to begin a "constructive and respectful" dialogue with the Ontario Federation of Labour, which may lead to re-affiliation with the OFL.

CAW President Ken Lewenza said it's important that these discussions recognize that the CAW is the largest private sector union in the province.

He said that based on current discussions regarding this issue there is a mind set to use the combined strength of the affiliates to ensure workers are protected and also to push forward with the ongoing drive to organize the unorganized.

Lewenza said the CAW is not going to be a complacent group.

"We want to join the OFL for the purpose of engaging each other, for the purpose of strengthening our collective ability to build a movement that's important for the province of Ontario and for all Canadians," Lewenza said.

"It's about how do we best represent the interest of our members? How do we use our combined strength to ensure that workers are protected?  How do we provide confidence to unorganized workers that the labour movement is an alternative that they should consider."

"I have to emphasize it's not about affiliation. It's not about paying fees to the OFL. It's about what's right for workers," Lewenza said.

Several delegates stressed it's time to look forward and to ensure the CAW plays a leadership role in building unity, solidarity and to fight for positive change.


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