John Cartwright is the President of the Toronto & York Region Labour Council, representing 205,000 union members in Canada’s largest urban centre. A carpenter by trade, he was formerly the Business Manager of the Construction Trades Council and co-chair of the Metro Jobstart Coalition. John has served on the Boards of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust, the United Way Toronto, the Toronto 2008 Olympic Bid, and the Labour Education Centre.
Over the years he has helped develop the Campaign for Public Education, Public Transit for the Public Good, and the Toronto Waterwatch campaign to defend vital public services in Toronto. John has been deeply involved in apprenticeship and training issues, as well as crafting the “Green Jobs Strategy” for the Canadian Labour Congress. In 2007 he led the successful $10 Minimum Wage campaign in Ontario, and went on to initiate the Good Jobs for All Coalition and the subsequent conference on Good Green Jobs for All.
Since becoming Labour Council President, John has worked with affiliated unions to craft an aggressive equity agenda for Toronto’s labour movement. The Council initiated ground-breaking Aboriginal/Workers of Colour (AWOC) Conferences, and has the most diverse leadership of any central labour body in the country. He is Co-Chair of the Toronto Community Benefits Network, which works to provide career opportunities for racialized communities on major infrastructure projects. John also sits on the National Board of the Council of Canadians.
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