Around the MFL

About The Manitoba Federation of Labour

The Manitoba Federation of Labour is the province's 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 100,000 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's Democratic Structure

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

Executive Council is constitutionally designed to ensure representation from nine distinct regions of the province, 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 several caucuses - The Workers of Colour Caucus, the Aboriginal Workers Caucus, the Young Members Caucus and the Solidarity and Pride 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. Another caucus, the Affiliate Union Caucus, provides a forum for smaller affiliate unions that don’t have direct representation on Executive Council. Each of these caucuses are represented on Executive Council by a vice-president (the chair of each caucus).

The Role of the MFL

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.

MFL Committees and Caucuses

The MFL has several standing committees and occasional 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. Current MFL Committees include:

  • Womens Issues
  • Workplace Safety and Health, and Environment
  • Young Members
  • Workers Compensation

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

The MFL also has a number of standing Caucuses that work to advance worker interests, human rights and social justice issues, including:

  • Workers of Colour
  • Aboriginal Workers
  • Affiliate Union (comprised of small unions without direct representation on the MFL Executive Council)
  • Solidarity & Pride

For more information, e-mail the MFL or call us at 947-1400.

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 the Canadian Labour Congress office in Winnipeg at 204-947-9494.


Click for the MFL Constitution

MFL Policy Handbook

The supreme policy making body of the MFL is the triennial MFL Convention. If circumstances require policy development between convention, the elected MFL Executive Council is responsible.

The MFL Policy Book presents all MFL policies that have been adopted to date. The MFL Policy Book is updated as policies are developed and updated.

You can download the MFL Policy Book here.

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