The Ontario Provincial Council of Machinists held their 60th Annual Convention on Friday, May 31, 2024, with the theme being “Enough is Enough”.

The conference opened with greetings from Laura Walton, President of the Ontario Federation of Labour. Vinny Addeo, Chief of Staff to IP Brian Bryant, Jody Bennett, Resident GVP – Headquarters, Dave Chartrand, GVP – Canada and Ralph Martin, Chief of Staff Canada, all gave outstanding speeches.

After the roll call of the Officers the minutes of the 59th Annual Convention from the previous year, the financial reports for March and April, 2024 were presented, and the amended bylaws for OPCM.

Arbitrator, Lindsay Lawrence spoke on grievance settlements. She stated settlement agreements are a valuable tool for resolving disputes efficiently and confidentially. Lindsay went over several key elements of a settlement agreement, such as financial compensation and tax implications.

Mary McHugh, Director of William W. Winpisinger Education & Technology Center spoke on the importance of Videoconferencing for LL meetings and the requirement to make our meetings available to all members.

Amina Abdullah presented Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. I learned that we are all diverse in the way we think, as we have different thoughts, beliefs, and values that are shaped by the difference in culture, religion, and background.

Ryan Newell and Jane Zhang from Goldblatt Partners showed a slide presentation on the Duty of Fair Representation. They spoke on the statutory duties that Reps cannot discriminate arbitrarily or in bad faith. You cannot accept the company’s version without consulting with the members involved. You have to consider the merits of each case. The DFR presentation was well received by the delegates.

Tony Blevins, Assistant Director for Guide Dogs of America / Tender Loving Canines spoke on the different programs that they are able to provide. It costs over $60,000 to breed, raise, train and place one assistance dog. However, all of the Foundation’s services are provided at no charge to the individual. Funding comes from the generosity of individuals, corporations, foundations, and community organizations.

Mike Edwards and Christopher Barrett attended as delegates from LL1922, and Jin Kunstek as a delegate from District 78, Leads program attended the convention.

Thank you to  LL 2323 and LL 2413 for hosting the 60th OPCM convention. Thank you to the OPCM President Carol Edgar and Pauline Pegnam and their team for organizing the event.

Congratulations to Gary Hynes who announced he will be retiring in 2025.

Photo by Frank Saptel

Photo by Jin Kunstek

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