Building Labour Power Briefing

A quick backgrounder on current Durham Region Labour Council updates and information. 

"Building Labour Power" Briefing Note

28 February 2019


Chartered by the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), the Durham Region Labour Council (DRLC) is the voice of organized labour in our community and has been since 1942.  Area Locals affiliated with the CLC may also choose to join the Labour Council. Currently, over 30 Locals are in good standing with the DRLC, representing approximately 10,000 workers in the Region of Durham. Our membership has historically reflected a mix of traditional manufacturing unions as well as a broad range of unions from the public sector (municipal employees, health care, education, etc). We are represented on the Ontario Federation of Labour's Executive Council as well as the Canadian Council of the Canadian Labour Congress.


Labour Council dues (currently .25 cents per member/per month) are nominal, but critically important as they fund practically all of DRLC's outreach and activities. Labour Councils play a vital role in CLC/OFL outreach as they are the primary way to mobilize workers around particular issues and campaigns. The effectiveness of such campaigns in any given community is therefore dependent on the strength and capacity of the local Labour Council.


Over the past few years, our membership and affiliation has decreased. It is our intention to continue coordinating activism with affiliates and non-affiliates alike as well as coordinating activities with other like-minded community groups. This event, "Building Labour Power" is intended to provide us with an opportunity to consult with Local union leaders to ask what you see as the critical issues facing this community, how the DRLC can best support your efforts to represent and defend your members, how we can stimulate more union organizing in the community to secure rights and benefits for currently unrepresented workers, and how to best coordinate our political activities to ensure better outcomes for workers in future elections and in the actions we take. This event is not a silo, it is only the beginning. Our next meeting, "The Power of Many" will be open to any community group, activist, or like-minded party/individual and takes place on March 19 from 6-9 PM at the IBEW Hall in Oshawa.  We also have a International Women's Day Rally planned for March 8th from 3:30-4:30 PM outside Rod Phillips' office in response to how the Ford Government is further marginalizing women. Finally, we will have a powerful Day of Mourning event in Oshawa on April 28.