In 1872 it was against the law for workers to form unions and strike!
Workers fought and won the right to form unions and since then, a local labour central has represented the interests and needs of workers in the Ottawa area. We have fought for living wages and equity, we struggled for shorter work hours and social and health services. Together we have won political and legal rights for workers.
Today, as in 1872, we continue to demand safe and healthy workplaces. Ottawa union members have been in the forefront of Canada's labour struggles. We elected the first ever independent labour candidate, Council President Daniel O'Donoghue, to political office in 1874 only months after workers gained the right to vote. In 1991, federal public employees won the right to political rights enjoyed by other Canadians and the ODLC was part of that struggle. The gains of the past will only remain ours through labour solidarity. This is the ongoing role of your Labour Council.
The Ottawa and District Labour Council (ODLC) currently represents over 90 union locals comprised of approximately 55,000 union members. As the municipal central labour body the ODLC provides a valuable opportunity for delegates from affiliated locals to gather and exchange information and extend mutual support. It is the role of the council to represent the interests of working men and women in the community.