Past President, Toronto & York Region Labour Council, 1988-2001
Linda became the first woman President of the Labour Council in January 1988 after serving as the Treasurer for 4 years and being a member of the Executive Board for 6 years prior to being the Treasurer. She was a member of PSAC; a staff representative for the Southern Ontario Newspaper Guild (SONG – now UNIFOR); as well as a negotiator for OPSEU.
She was also active in her community. She assisted in the formation of the Greater Riverdale Organization – a coalition of over 70 community groups in East Toronto. She was elected as President of the new organization at its founding convention in November 1972. She also served on the Board of Women in Transition shelter for women and children in the mid to late 70’s.
As President of the Council she assisted in the establishment and participated in the Labour Council’s committee on Video Display Terminal Health and Safety. The committee was responsible for bringing ergonomic and radiation health hazard information to public attention and served as the Labour Representative on Toronto District Health Council; she was a Member of the Board and Executive of United Way of Greater Toronto; was Chair of Labour Community Services, Metro Labour Education Centre, and Labour Council Development Foundation which developed cooperative housing projects with union sponsors.
Linda is probably best known for her work co-chairing a mass action to shut down Toronto in the unprecedented Metro Days of Action in October 1996. Under the slogan “Organize, Educate, Resist” hundreds of thousands took to the streets, protesting the attacks of Mike Harris’s Conservatives against working people and communities.
In 2001, Linda was forced to retire due to illness. Once her condition stabilized, she served as a volunteer board member of the Social Planning Council. In 2014, she moved to Prince Edward County where she continues to volunteer in a number of community initiatives.
Check out: Walking on Sunshine – The Metro Days of Action by Linda Torney.