Photo credit: Alex Lisman/Team Ignite OFL 2023

CUPE Ontario’s executive board is pleased to announce its endorsement of Laura Walton, Ahmad Gaied, and Jackie Taylor, members of Team Ignite, for officers’ positions on the executive of the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL).

“Team Ignite is made up of three incredible labour leaders and we at CUPE Ontario are proud to support this dynamic and diverse leadership team,” said CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn. “I know they will bring fresh ideas and a new approach to the work of the OFL. Building on traditional labour values of solidarity, social justice, and equity, they will take our movement to a new level of organizing and action for working people across the province. I am looking forward to the elections and to working with them.”

Laura Walton, Team Ignite candidate for OFL president, currently holds the position of president with CUPE’s Ontario School Board Council of Unions (OSBCU) and sits on the CUPE Ontario Executive Board. Last fall she led the historic and successful fight against the Ford Conservatives’ attempt to legislate away the rights of CUPE education workers.  Jackie Taylor, who is running for the office of OFL executive vice-president, is a longtime United Steelworkers’ activist, National Women’s Committee representative, and experienced union educator. Ahmad Gaied is the current secretary-treasurer of the OFL, where he has helped lead the OFL to financial stability and is a member of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Canada.

“These union leaders are activists and organizers to their cores,” said CUPE Ontario Secretary-Treasurer Yolanda McClean. “They have remarkable records as supporters of workers in Ontario and we’re excited at the prospect of working together for our collective future. As president of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists for Canada, I am also thrilled that both Ahmad and Jackie are longtime members of the CBTU.”

The CUPE Ontario Executive Board also paid tribute to the OFL’s outgoing president Patty Coates and executive vice-president Janice Folk-Dawson and thanked them for their leadership of Ontario’s house of labour, stating: “Through incredibly challenging days, a global pandemic, and an austerity-obsessed Conservative government, both Patty and Janice have provided strong and steadfast leadership to our movement and the OFL. Every worker in the province has benefited from their hard work and skill.”

“We know that Patty’s and Janice’s legacy leaves a solid foundation of a strong labour movement that speaks to the needs of Ontario workers.  What they have helped to build will be in safe hands with this slate of excellent candidates,” said McClean.

Elections will take place the OFL’s 2023 convention, which runs from November 20 to 24.

Learn more about the candidates on their Twitter and Facebook pages.