Who We Are

Just as workers join unions to protect their rights in their workplaces, unions join together to address common issues at the local, provincial, and national level.

The Nova Scotia Federation of Labour is the central provincial voice for Nova Scotia workers. The Fed represents thousands of union members, lobbying the provincial government for justice and fairness for workers across the province.

The Fed is chartered by the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), the national voice of workers primarily tasked with lobbying the federal government and national labour advocacy. At the local level the CLC charters labour councils, there are five affiliated labour councils in Nova Scotia.

Together these democratic, worker-run organizations are Canada’s House of Labour.

The Federation represents approximately 70,000 members of affiliated unions in more than 350 locals working in every aspect of Nova Scotia’s economy.

The Federation provides strike support whenever called upon, by making a direct donation, sending a strike appeal to affiliates, making a presentation to government for intervention, supporting a boycott or holding a support rally.

Over the years the Federation has been on hundreds of picket lines and supported as many demonstrations, standing shoulder to shoulder with workers fighting for fairness.

The Nova Scotia Federation of Labour was founded on a principle of justice and dignity for all and it will always be front and centre in the battle for a just society.

The Federation Executive Council is made up of seven officers, at least two of whom must be women: A President, a First Vice-President, a Secretary-Treasurer, three Vice-Presidents-at-Large and a Vice-President Representative of Workers of Colour. Fifteen General Vice-Presidents from the major unions make up the rest.

The President and two staff members work out of the Fed office in Halifax.

The convention is held every two years during which delegates from affiliated unions set policy and future direction for the Federation and elect the Executive Council.

Executive Council

Danny Cavanagh President
Sandra Mullen First-Vice President
Janet Hazelton Vice President-at-Large
Melissa Marsman Secretary Treasurer
Nan McFadgen Vice President-at-Large
Rocky Beals Vice President Representing Workers of Colour and Aboriginal People
Ryan Lutes Vice President-at-Large

General Vice-Presidents

Nelson Scott CUPE
Alan Linkletter CUPE
Tammy Gillis NSGEU
Peter Perry NSGEU
Rhonda Doyle-LeBlanc PSAC
Chris DiLiberatore PSAC
Donna Gillis NSNU
Glenda Sabine NSNU
Natalie MacIsaac NSTU
Jo-Leigh MacPhee NSTU
Dwayne Corner CUPW
Kevin MacMullin IUOE
Craig Anderson IBEW
Jessica Jeddry UFCW
Barbara Gillis AAU
Gina Boyd | IAM&AW General Vice-President representing unions <1000 members
Debbie Richardson | IATSE General Vice-President representing unions <1000 members
Dianne Frittenburg | CUPE General Vice-President representing Labour Councils
Nicole Turple | NSGEU General Vice-President representing Young Workers
Vacant General Vice-President representing NSFUR

Our Work

We are committed to the principle of advancing the social and economic well-being of the workers of Nova Scotia; as well as attempting to secure legislative change which will safeguard and promote the principles of free collective bargaining, the rights of workers, human rights and the security and welfare of all people.

The Nova Scotia Federation of Labour is the province’s central labour body. It was established, along with other Federations of Labour, after the creation of the Canadian Labour Congress in 1956, to further the aims and objectives of its affiliated unions.

The Federation speaks on behalf of and represents the interests of organized and unorganized workers. We promote decent wages and working conditions, improved health and safety laws and lobbies for fair taxes and strong social programs. Working for social equality, and to end racism and discrimination.

While the Federation does not deal with collective bargaining directly, it does focus on issues such as provincial labour standards, workers’ compensation and occupational health and safety standards, which do have an effect on and are affected by industrial relations.

Labour Councils

Five community based Labour Councils are affiliated to the Federation from Annapolis Valley, Cape Breton District, Halifax-Dartmouth and District, South Shore, and Strait Area.

The Federation works with the Councils in their communities as they endeavour to carry through the policies of the trade union movement initiated at the provincial and national levels and enable labour to play a role in their communities.

Advocacy & Lobbying

The Federation’s role is primarily a legislative one, in which it lobbies government on behalf of workers on a wide and varied range of issues:

  • Occupational health and safety
  • Medicare and health care
  • Workers’ Compensation legislation
  • Women’s rights
  • Anti-racism
  • Human rights
  • The Trade Union Act
  • Social programs
  • Child care
  • Labour standards, minimum wage
  • Housing
  • Pensions
  • Literacy
  • Transportation
  • Environment
  • Workplace training
  • Political action