Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

March 24, 2011 12:37 ET

Media Advisory: Ontario Federation of Labour to Host First-Ever Workers of Colour Assembly/Educational

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 24, 2011) - The Ontario Federation of Labour will be hosting the first ever Workers of Colour Assembly in Toronto on March 25 and 26, 2011, in collaboration with the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, the Latin American Trade Unionists and the Asian Canadian Labour Alliance. The forum will feature a Friday night keynote address on community building by Terry Melvin, Secretary-Treasurer of the New York State AFL-CIO and the International Executive Board Member of the CBTU.

"It is shameful that in Canadian society, racialized workers continue to earn lower than average wages and experience higher than average rates of poverty. They are also impacted the hardest by public service cuts and they face individual and systemic discrimination," said OFL President Sid Ryan. "Workers of every background must unite together to challenge racial prejudice and discrimination in all of its forms."

The Workers of Colour Assembly is designed to give participants the opportunity to discuss barriers to equality, including access to good jobs, affordable housing, pensions and education. It will focus on developing short and long-term strategies for challenging legislators, employers, communities and individuals to become allies in the struggle for racial justice.

Workers of Colour Assembly/Educational  
Educate, Organize, Mobilize: For Racial Justice, Anywhere and Everywhere 
When: Friday, March 25 to Saturday, March 26, 2011
Where: OFL Building Auditorium, 15 Gervais Drive, Toronto
Time: Keynote and opening session from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Friday

"This Assembly is a major leap forward for the labour movement in recognizing and addressing racial barriers in our workplaces and in our communities," said Terry Downey, OFL Executive Vice-President. "The organizations that have come together to host this historic event are demonstrating an unprecedented unity in doing so. This kind of solidarity that is the pillar of any union's strength and it is also our best hope in challenging racism and discrimination."

Community and ethnic media are invited to contact the OFL for interviews and to coordinate coverage of this historic event. The OFL represents 54 Ontario unions and over one million workers.

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