Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

December 07, 2007 15:31 ET

OFL Statement Dec 10 International Human Rights Day

In 2007 Human Rights still poorly protected says Ontario Federation of Labour

Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, Media Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO--(Marketwire - Dec. 7, 2007) -
International Human Rights Day commemorates the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations in 1948.

This Declaration has become the cornerstone of the modern human rights movement. It states plainly that all people have an inalienable and fundamental human right to form and join trade unions for the protection of their interests in the workplace.

As people around the world prepare to observe International Human Rights Day on December 10, the 700,000-member Ontario Federation of Labour remains seriously concerned about the state of workers' rights and the alarming increase of racial and religious profiling - globally.

"In 2007, human rights are still poorly protected," says Terry Downey, OFL executive vice-president. "In many countries workers who try to form unions for the purpose of bargaining collectively with their employers over the terms and conditions of their employment face racism, bullying, harassment, deportation, job loss, imprisonment, death threats, beatings, torture or even assassination."

"We cannot remain silent in the face of these and other serious abuses of workers' rights." The OFL calls on all nations - globally - to abide by and respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

"Here in Ontario the government needs to rid itself of labour laws that unfairly discriminate against women, racially visible workers, and immigrant workers wanting to join a union. The McGuinty government restored majority card certification only to the male-dominated construction sector. The labour laws in place pose significant barriers to these workers making them vulnerable to employer intimidation and coercion during the time leading up to a union vote," Downey said.

Protecting the human rights of workers in Ontario is one of the OFL's primary objectives. Since the recent OFL convention the Federation has been mandated to mount human rights campaigns to: introduce employment equity, racial and religious profiling legislation immediately; remain vigilant on the monitoring of Bill 107 and the proposed changes to the Ontario Human Rights system to ensure it remains public, free and accessible for all Ontarians.

cope343 /For further information: Dana Boettger
OFL Communications

Contact Information

  • Terry Downey, OFL Executive Vice-President, Ontario Federation of Labour
    Primary Phone: 416-578-3230
    Toll-Free: 800-668-9138
    E-mail: tdowney@ofl.ca