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Welcome to our report from the 60th Annual OPCM Convention held on May 31st – June 2, 2024 at Toronto. This year’s convention brought together the top leaders and future leaders of the IAM in Canada and the United States.

The keynote speakers included Dave Chartrand GVP Canada, Vinny Addeo, Chief of Staff Headquarters, Ralph Martin Chief of Staff Canada, Lindsay Lawrence, Arbitrator Lawrence Arbitration Services, Laura Walton, President of the OFL, Mary McHugh, Director of the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center, Amina Abdullah Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Consultant, Ryan Newell and Jane Zhang of Goldblatt Partners and Tony Blevins, Assistant Director Guide dogs of America. Thrown in the mix were industry professionals, thought leaders and enthusiasts to share knowledge, innovative ideas and gave an opportunity for delegates to learn, grow and network. The delegates reflected the remarkable diversity of present membership in. the IAM, which was a far cry from the first Inaugural convention that was held in 1964.

Conventions play a vital role in shaping the Union’s direction, strengthening member engagement and advancing worker’s rights.

It was a packed schedule of reports and talks on varied topics related to the union’s activities, policies, goals and issues important to the membership. Industry specific challenges and opportunities were discussed with the intent of building solidarity and unity among members.

The theme of the event was ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! The tipping point has been reached with regards to Affordable Housing, health care, low wages, escalating food costs, toxic workplaces and politicians not delivering on promises made. It’s time to take our power back.



Laura Walton, President of the Ontario Federation of Labour, gave an outstanding speech, regaling members with her experiences. With a firm belief in the equalizing power of inclusive public education, Laura led her 55,000 coworkers across Ontario to withdraw their labour for two days in November 2022 in protest of the Ford government using the notwithstanding clause to ram through legislation that imposed a contract on CUPE education workers.

Frontline workers, a united labour movement, and overwhelming community support compelled a Conservative majority in the provincial legislature to repeal its anti-worker Bill 28 in record time. The lowest-paid education workers ultimately resisted concessions and negotiated a $1 per hour pay increase each year for four years after a decade of legislated wage erosion. Well done Laura!

Laura Walton President of the OFL

Laura’s speech was followed by a motivational speech from OPCM President Carol Edgar. The Host Committee then submitted an introductory report.

Carol Edgar President OPCM

The Host Committee – Vic Seebalak, Jonathan Smith, Stan Theofilaktidis

First time OPCM delegates

IAM leaders Vinny Addeo, Dave Chartrand and Ralph Martin, then took centre stage giving delegates an insight into the initiatives, updates on current wins, and lastly the vision and direction that the union will be embarking on in the near future. They stressed on the importance of working together towards the common goal of improving our members lives. This could be achieved through education, communication and political action.

Vinny Addeo, Chief of IAM Headquarters

Dave Chartrand, GVP Canada

Ralph Martin, Chief of Staff Canada

Lindsay Lawrence an Arbitrator from Lawrence Arbitration Services, shed light on grievance settlements and dispute resolution. Mary McHugh, Director of the William W Winpisinger Education and Technology Center, spoke on videoconferencing, it’s pros and cons, implications and practical ways to implement it in locals and districts. Amina Abdullah, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion consultant, shared a beautiful poem that she had written and also spoke on how to recognize and counter implicit bias in the workplace. Ryan Newell and Jane Zhang from Goldblatt partners gave a presentation on the duty of fair representation and how it impacts labour relations. Tony Bleving, Assistant Director of Guide Dogs of America/Tender Loving Canines presented a video on the training of guide dogs and the impact the organization has on the community.

Lindsay Lawrence

Mary McHugh

Amina Abdullah

Ryan Newell, Jane Zhang

Tony Blevins

Also honoured were the Toronto Daily Food bank with the Humanitarian award and Farhang Irani with the Norm Court Award for his outstanding service to the labour movement.

Culminating the convention, reports were delivered by the Host Committee and Area Vice-Presidents.

A salient feature that was expressed by all speakers was the importance of the next provincial and Federal elections and how it could adversely affect Canadians if a labour friendly government is not elected. We could lose vital things like the Rand Formula which ensures the health of all Canadian unions.

In closing, this convention was a resounding success, demonstrating the strength and solidarity of our union. We have made significant strides in shaping our future, addressing pertinent issues and celebrating our achievements. We left energized and committed to “fighting the good fight” for worker’s rights, social justice, and a better world for all. Let us carry the spirit of this convention forward, inspiring hope, action and progress in the days ahead. Together we will rise to the challenges of the future proudly upholding the values and principles that have guided our union.


This is what our delegates from LL1231 had to say:

Merry St. Bernard, President

“OPCM for 2024 was held at the Great Canadian Casino Resort. It’s was hosted by Local Lodge 2023 and 2013. The theme for this was “enough is enough.” There were some great speakers, Laura Walton, President of Ontario Federation of Labour, she spoke on taking back Ontario for the workers because we are much bigger than the people that are in power. Vinny Addeo Chief of staff Headquarters spoke about taking the time to visit the shop and listening to our members, human rights, having diversity in our strength and unity, honoring our past, and building our future. Dave Chartrand GVP for Canada spoke on where the Union is right now and where he would like to see it in the future. He also talked about the importance of voting and knowing who we are voting for, what it will cost the Union if the wrong government gets into power. Reminded us that a snake is a snake( a snake cannot change into an eagle ), so read up on the people who are running for office. See a Trump before it’s too late. There were many more great speakers like Ralph Martin Chief of Staff Canada, Lindsay Lawrence Arbitrator, Mary McHugh Director William W Winpisinger Education and Technology Center, Amina Abdullah Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Consultant, Ryan Newell and Jane Zhang Lawyers from Goldbatt Partners and Tony Blevins Assistant Director Guides Dogs of America/Tender Loving Canines. Local Lodge 1231 is honoured to receive the mandate to host the OPCM conference for 2025.

Lystra Mohammed, Secretary Treasurer :


I was very excited to attend the OPCM conference, just looking at the list of speakers had me up and I could not wait to hear each of them speak. The conference started with the Ontario federation of labor President Laura Walton talking about the average wage for the teachers in 2022 being 39,000 a year. I was in shock to know that was their wages and with the cost of living going up it made me realize how much work that still have to be done to get them where they should be. Laura spoke about how she got to the bargaining committee with over 85% 40,000 strike mandate. Ontarians deserved better, we are not done until we take the province back. Vinny Addeo Chief of staff talked about the diversity in the room and this is what leadership looks like, the members we represent. He gave a message from the 15th President thanking everyone for the hard work they are doing. The International President is committed to listening to its members, putting family first and growing our union. Our GVP Dave Chartrand talked about all the positions in the IAM how we need members to get involved in the council, launch petition, all the bargaining unions that we got in Alberta and BC, but the best for me is when he recognized our Sister Rootisha for all her organizing work, our sister got a standing ovation, made me proud to be in our union. Our past DBR, Ralph Martin, who is the Chief of staff Canada talked about contract flipping (primarily in the airport) and the Election training from one country to another, I was fortunate to attend that training and it was very beneficial to me. I learned a lot about elections and voting process. He also talk about the Electronic membership card and he let us know the trial is going well. And this was only Day one. Thank you all .

Quotes that stand out to me : I take a stand and I am going to do something about it. United we stand, divided we fall. Individually we are one drop, together we are an ocean.

Delegate Name: Nneka Nwachukwu
Position: Steward (Toronto)

I had the honor of attending the 60th Ontario Provincial Council of Machinists (OPCM) Conference held from 31st May – 2nd June, 2024 in Toronto as a first-time delegate. The conference was a comprehensive event that brought together union representatives, leaders, and members from across Ontario. It featured a variety of workshops, discussions, keynote speeches, and networking opportunities. The primary focus was on discussing current challenges, sharing best practices, and strategizing for the future IAM.I was particularly impressed by the level of commitment and passion demonstrated by all the union leaders and members. The discussions were insightful, and I gained a deeper understanding of the complexities involved in union work. More so, an informal session that allowed delegates to connect with other delegates and socialize. Finally, the 60th OPCM was not only informative but also motivating, reinforcing the importance of IAM union. I am eager to apply these learnings to benefit our local union and look forward to continued engagement in union activities.

Marene Robinson, Chief Steward Peel

I’m grateful to be one of the delegate attending the Ontario Provincial Council of Machinists OPCM convention. It was truly inspiring to see and hear all the different speakers. I find assurance knowing that our union is well equipped to deal with any situation that presents itself. We had an equity, diversity and inclusion speaker, Union Lawyers, our own WWW3 director of Education and Technology Centre Mary McHugh and also a powerful union leader Laura Walton, president of Ontario Federation of Labour. Knowledge is Power.

Dorine Agendia, Chief Steward Nurses, Peel

“This was my very first time attending the OPCM and I had a great experience. There was a presentation about arbitration and grievances settlement. I learn about the grievances process and what to do if the situation has to go to arbitration. There was also a presentation from Mary McHugh, the director of The Winpisinger Education Center. She had a presentation about organizing hybrid meetings as an option for our locals who are unable to attend monthly meetings due to one reason or another. There was also a presentation from Amina Abdullah who talked about equity, diversity and inclusion. This is a way of removing systemic barriers so every one could have equity. We’re all different individuals but we are valued and supported as one. I also learnt about duty of fair representation. Being a union representative comes with a responsible to exercise our duty to our members. We have to act honestly and fairly for the good of our members otherwise we will be held accountable for our actions. This is called the duty for fair representation (DFR). I also got to hear about how the guide dogs of America are saving the lives of people who are in need of them. One of our sisters who has experienced amazing support from a guide dog cane in with hers and talked about her life changing experience. It was so touching and we all felt the need to make contribution to the course for this great initiative. There was a humanitarian award for one of our brothers who saved the life of a passenger after the passenger had a heart attack.

Thank you Madame president for this great opportunity.”

Marcia Stone, Recording Secretary

“Thanks to my President and the members of LL1231 who gave me the opportunity to attend the OPCM. My experience is this Convention is always knowledgeable. I was so happy to see Vinny Addeo, Chief of Staff Headquarters and I got the chance to really meet and greet with him. He also brings greetings from the International President and Secretary Treasurer who couldn’t make it. Our GVP and Chief of Staff, Dave Chartrand and Ralph Martin welcomed us for being there. I have learned so much from the speakers that were there. I love the story of one Speaker about the time she came to Canada and saw the snow, she thought the snow would kill her, but she was just giving an example of Equity, which is sharing stories. Diversity –Identity group race-your different- all individuals are equal. Equity, how to remove these barriers. The goals are an Action Plan, how you will achieve them, what the reasons and what do you want to accomplish. Amina Abdullah spoke on Equity, Diversity & Inclusion . I could go on because all the speakers were very informative, and I have learned so much at this 2024 OPCM Convention.”