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Babbington elected President of Toronto & York Region Labour Council

Publish date: Tuesday, May 11, 2021 update

Photo of Toronto & York Region Labour Council President-Elect Andria Babbington and other activists

Andria Babbington was selected as the President-Elect of the Toronto & York Region Labour Council last week, on the upcoming retirement of Labour Council President John Cartwright.

The Labour Council is a central labour body that combines the strength of local unions representing 220,000 people who work in every sector of the economy.

AMAPCEO President Dave Bulmer, whose union represents more than 14,000 of the province’s professional employees, extended Babbington a warm congratulations on behalf of his union’s members.

“Andria is a powerhouse and is dedicated to strengthening the labour movement to improve the lives of working people—unionized or not,” Bulmer said. “She speaks truth to power, and she knows how to mobilize.”

Babbington has worked in the hospitality sector since 1985, when she joined the housekeeping staff at a downtown Toronto hotel in 1985. She quickly became a union steward, and her spirited approach saw Babbington and her fellow members win grievances and stronger protections for hotel workers.

Babbington has served on the Labour Council’s Executive Board for over a decade, including the last eight years as Vice-President. When she takes office, she will be the first racialized woman to lead the Labour Council, and just the second woman to be President.

“I’m excited to see where her leadership will take the Labour Council next,” Bulmer said.

Babbington may be especially familiar to AMAPCEO Delegates who attended the union’s 2018 Annual Delegates’ Conference (ADC), where she led a demonstration of solidarity with members of UNITE HERE Local 75. The members were facing difficult negotiations with the management of Hilton Toronto, where the ADC was taking place and greatly appreciated AMAPCEO President Dave Bulmer speaking with their employer. Local 75 went on to secure a strong contract with the hotel shortly thereafter.

Bulmer also congratulated Cartwright for his years of service as President of Canada’s largest local labour council. Cartwright, a carpenter, has led the Labour Council for nearly 20 years.

Cartwright’s reputation as a dedicated city builder is known around the world. During his tenure as President of the Labour Council, he was instrumental in the successful 2007 campaign to establish a $10 minimum wage in Ontario, and led campaigns focused on defending public services, including transit and hydro.

Bulmer wished Cartwright a happy retirement on behalf of the AMAPCEO Board of Directors and the union’s 14,000 members.

“John is a builder,” Bulmer said. “By training, by trade, and by persuasion. He built up the Labour Council during his tenure and used its power to protect jobs and improve the lives of workers across the province. We are excited to see what you build next.”

AMAPCEO has welcomed Cartwright to many events throughout the union’s history, and notable was his address to Delegates at the 2016 Annual Delegates’ Conference. A video, in which he outlines the four major priorities of the Labour Council, is available here.

AMAPCEO is a supporter of the Toronto & York Region Labour Council, and a sponsor of the Council’s 150th Anniversary celebrations happening this year. To learn more about the history—and future—of the Council, visit

More about AMAPCEO and our Members: Established in 1992, AMAPCEO is a bargaining agent that represents 14,000 professional and supervisory public servants, most of whom work directly for the Government of Ontario in every ministry and in a number of agencies, boards and commissions; in 130 communities throughout Ontario and in 12 cities outside Canada. We also represent employees outside the Ontario Public Service in: the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario; the Ontario Arts Council; Ontario Health (Quality Unit); Public Health Ontario; the Waypoint Mental Health Centre in Penetanguishene; and in the former Offices of the Ontario Child Advocate and the French Language Services Commissioner (now part of the Ontario Ombudsman).