Ontario Federation of Labour under financial administration

“According to an email obtained by the Star, the organization has $1 million in outstanding payments, a budget shortfall of $200,000 for the first six months of this fiscal year, and a $250,000 credit line that’s maxed out most weeks.” (1).

I have been expecting something of this nature to take place for a while now, and it is no surprise to me that the OFL’s parent body, the Canadian Labour Congress, has felt itself compelled to place the OFL under “financial administration” – a form of trusteeship.

In an April, 2013 article “OFL running deficits, pension plan underfunded” I had this to say:

“OFL President Sid Ryan is quoted as saying that “We are currently on the path to balance the books” but to my mind, that may mean he has little idea of what he is talking about, or is simply trying to put a positive spin on the situation – “balancing the books” is a mathematical function, and underfunding the employees’ pension plan is a matter of failing to meet obligations… Tough decisions will have to be made, and I wonder if Ryan will cut back on political activities and campaigns, or on the more mundane business expenses relating to running the labour movement. My guess is that he is unlikely to cut back on pursuing his political agenda unless forced to do so…” (2).

And I am so thankful that, as President of CUPE Ontario, he was unsuccessful in his 1999 attempt to gain control over the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System and its billions of dollars in reserves. As I said at that time:

“A glimpse of what may well be the real game plan comes from his slogan “If we pay, we want a say”, and his demand that the investments of work-place pension plans must be “ethical”. It doesn’t need a rocket scientist to figure out whose ethics these will be, or whose political agenda will be served if the unions gain control over multi-billion dollar plans such as OMERS, which is the third largest in the country.” (3).

Sid Ryan will be running for re-election as OFL President in November this year, and although I haven’t paid union dues for fourteen years now, I sincerely hope that a new leader will be elected, one who will be able to get things under control and bring an end to Sid Ryan’s lengthy career which in my opinon has been utterly disastrous for the labour movement.

It is my expectation that only when he is gone will we be able to discover the full extent of the damage he has caused, not just to organized labour but to Ontario and the country as a whole, with his use of compulsory union dues to advance his “progressive” socialist agenda on the backs of the workers.

As I said in November 2011:

“His preference for hogging the limelight, to the detriment of advancing union interests by maintaining good relations with those who make the laws, has put the Ontario labour movement back into the Dark Ages, as demonstrated by the objections of Ontario Nurses’ Association president Linda Haslam-Stroud and Ontario Provincial Service Employees’ Union President Warren (Smokey) Thomas…”

Here’s hoping…

Jeff Goodall.

(1) – See the Toronto Star article “Bills pile up for Ontario Federation of Labour” (May 22nd) here.

(2) – Read “OFL running deficits, pension plan underfunded” here.

(3) – Read “CUPE Boss Eyes Pension Fund” here.

According to a more recent news item, the financial administration was imposed as the result of more unions threatening to defect from the OFL: see “Rift widens over Ontario Federation of Labour’s financial woes” (ourwindsor.ca) here.

See also my Sid Ryan sub-category here.