The Manitoba Federation of Labour

The Manitoba Federation of Labour is the provinces central labour body, chartered by the Canadian Labour Congress in 1956 to represent the interests of CLC affiliated unions in Manitoba.

Our affiliates have a combined membership of more than 90,000 working women and men in the private and public sectors, including the manufacturing sector, government offices, retail stores, hospitals, schools, the natural resources sector, tourism, agriculture, transportation and many others.

The MFL is a democratic structure, directed by policies decided at regularly held conventions, which are attended by elected delegates from our affiliates. Between conventions, the MFLs activities are determined by our Executive Council, made up representatives from our thirteen largest affiliates. Collectively, Executive Council members directly represent more than 90% of our grassroots membership.

Executive Council is constitutionally designed to ensure representation from five distinct regions of the province, from the five labour councils in Manitoba, from the Construction trades, and from the Manitoba Federation of Union Retirees (voice, but no vote). At least two of the six Executive Council seats held by our three largest affiliates are designated to be filled by women. The MFL is proud that it historically exceeds equity group representation requirements.

The Federation has established two Caucuses - The Workers of Colour Caucus and the Aboriginal Workers Caucus - in recognition of the need of workers in these areas to have a structure to discuss issues of interest and to develop strategies to meet their needs. These caucuses are represented on Executive Council by two vice-presidents (the chairs of the caucuses).

The purposes of the Manitoba Federation of Labour are:
  • To support the principles and policies of the Canadian Labour Congress.
  • To promote the interests of its affiliates and generally to advance the economic and social welfare of the workers in Manitoba.
  • To assist affiliate organizations in extending the benefits of mutual assistance, collective bargaining and union education to the workers.
  • To assist wherever possible in the organization of the unorganized into unions for their mutual aid, protection and advancement, giving recognition to the principle that both craft and industrial unions are appropriate, equal and necessary, as methods of union organization.
  • To encourage all workers without regard to perceived race, creed, colour, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin or political beliefs to share in the full benefit of union organization.
  • To secure provincial legislation which will safeguard and promote the principle of free collective bargaining, the rights of workers and the security and welfare of all people and give collective expression to our elected representatives.
  • To protect and strengthen our democratic institutions, to secure full recognition and enjoyment of the rights and liberties to which we are justly entitled, and to preserve and perpetuate the cherished traditions of our democracy.
  • To promote the cause of peace and freedom in the world and to assist and cooperate with free and democratic labour movements throughout the world.
  • To aid and encourage the sale and use of union made goods and unionized services through the use of the union label and other symbols.
  • To protect the labour movement from all corrupt influences and from the undermining efforts of all totalitarian agencies which are opposed to the basic principles of democracy and free and democratic unionism.
  • To preserve the independence of the labour movement from political control, to encourage workers to vote, to exercise their full rights and responsibilities of citizenship, and to perform their rightful part in the political life of the municipal, provincial and federal governments.

A major role of the MFL is to provide a forum for our affiliates to develop consensus decisions on common issues and to speak for our affiliates in dealings with the provincial government, the business sector and with community groups. We coordinate the appointment of union representatives on government boards and commissions to ensure that the legitimate views of workers are put forward. We lobby government for progressive legislation and policies that will benefit working people and against policies that hurt them.

Other important roles of the MFL are to coordinate and provide educational opportunities to our affiliates, so that their members have access to the tools they need to provide key services to their union brothers and sisters.

The MFL assists affiliates, particularly those with limited resources, in their undertakings, upon request. Assistance in activities includes those related to organizing the unorganized, health and safety, workers compensation, communications, media relations, education, political action, coordinating inter-union activities and dispute resolution.

The MFL has six standing committees and two ad hoc committees, made up of members elected or appointed by our affiliates. Their responsibility is to carry out projects on behalf of Executive Council, initiate activities to further the labour movement's objectives in specific interest areas and to provide advice to the MFL.

The MFL Committees are concerned with the following issues:
Womens Issues Workplace Safety and Health
Education (ad hoc) Political Education
Human Rights Workers Compensation
Environment Apprenticeship (ad hoc)

Our Committees organize conferences and educationals, and promote affiliates views in their interest areas.

For more information, contact John Doyle Communications Coordinator at 947-1400. Fax: 943-4276. E-mail:
May, 2000

MFL Executive Council

Executive Council President               Darlene Dziewit
Executive Council Treasurer               Peter Olfert
Executive Council VP                      Lorraine Sigurdson
Executive Council VP                      Robert Ziegler
MFL VP - MGEU                             Bob Dewar
MFL VP - MGEU                             Lois Wales
MFL VP - UFCW                             Bea McTavish
MFL VP - UFCW                             Jeff Traeger
MFL VP - CUPE                             Kevin Rebeck
MFL VP – CUPE                             Nicole Campbell
MFL VP - ATU                              Keith Scott
MFL VP - CAW                              Dale Paterson
MFL VP - CEP                              Wendy Sol
MFL VP - CUPW                             Bob Riddle
MFL VP - IAM&AW                           Brian Short
MFL VP - IBEW                             Brian Murdoch
MFL VP - OEIU                             Jim Murphy
MFL VP - PSAC                             Robyn Benson
MFL VP - UNITE                            Joy Santos
MFL VP - USWA                             Robert Desjarlais

MFL VP - (Prov. Construction Division)    John Moore

Area VP - Winnipeg                        Larry Pelzer
Area VP - Selkirk                         Pat Cordner
Area VP - Portage la Prairie              Daren Van Den Bussche
Area VP - Brandon                         Jan Chaboyer
Area VP - South Eastern MB                Chris Christensen
Area VP - Dauphin                         Stephen Roznowsky
Area VP - Flin Flon                       Chuck Woods
Area VP - The Pas                         Gordon Landriault
Area VP - Thompson                        Wayne Levac

MFL VP - Workers of Colour Caucus         Catherine Williams-Stewart
MFL VP - Aboriginal Workers Caucus        Cathy Woods
MFL VP - Affiliate Caucus                 Arnold Otto
Rep - MB Federation of Union Retirees     Al Cerilli

Federation Co-ordinator                   Sylvia Farley

Labour Councils and Coordinating Committees
Unions affiliated with the Manitoba Federation of Labour are encouraged to become active in community politics, labour issues and other progressive activities. The best way to do that is by affiliating with the labour Council or Coordinating Committee in your community. If you need assistance in this, contact Iris Taylor at the Canadian Labour Congress office in Winnipeg at 204-947-9494.