Sefton-Williams Memorial Lecture

Hosted by Woodsworth College and the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources, this annual lecture is now named in honour of Mr. Larry Sefton and Mr. Lynn Williams. The Sefton/Williams Memorial Lecture series presents topics of interest to scholars and practitioners of labour-management relations. The lecture has recently been endowed by USW International Executive Board and its members.

Larry Sefton’s (1917-1973) career in the labour movement began on the picket line in Kirkland Lake in the gold miners’ strike during World War II. He subsequently led the 1946 Stelco strike and later held office in the United Steelworkers of America, eventually becoming the Director of District 6. He earned the respect and admiration of those who worked with him.

Lynn Williams (1924-2014) began his career initially organizing campaigns for the Canadian Congress of Labour. He was named to the USW staff in 1956, was a delegate to the founding convention of the NDP and in 1973 was elected as the USW District 6 Director. In 1977, he was elected as the USW International Secretary and went on to become the first Canadian to serve as the President of USW International. He was a leader in promoting co-operation and solidarity in the international labour movement. After retirement he served as President of the Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees.

Information about past Sefton lecturers and their presentations is available from the CIRHR Library.

Sefton-Williams Award for Contributions to Labour Relations

The award honours those who have made a significant contribution to the field of labour relations and human rights. Labour relations practitioner as well as academics have received this award.

Overview of Past Lectures

Year Presenter(s) Award Winner
2018 Juliet Schor Carla Lipsig-Mummé
2017 Richard Yeselson Elaine Bernard
2016 David Weil Olivia Chow
2015 Miles Corak and Armine Yalnizyan Ed Broadbent
2014 Jennifer Wells Linda Briskin
2013 Nelson Lichtenstein, Tony Burke, and Natalie Des Rosier Homer Seguin
2012 John Cartwright Chris Schenk
2011 Leah Vosko Andrew Jackson
2010 Don Drummond Bob Baldwin
2009 Hugh Mackenzie Leo Gerard
2008 Jim Stanford and Charlotte Yates Warren Edmondson
2007 Stephen Lewis Leah Casselman
2006 Kate Bronfenbrenner Alan Borovoy
2005 Harry Arthurs Frances Bairstow
2004 Gordon Betcherman Pradeep Kumar
2003 Tim Armstrong Des Morton
2002 Judy Darcy Rick MacDowell
2001 Peter Warrian Shirley Goldenberg
2000 Richard Freeman Noah Meltz
1999 Julie White Bob White
1998 Kevin Burkett Lynn Williams
1997 Alexander (Sandy) Adam Ralph Barford
1996 Graham S. Lowe  
1995 Leo Gerard  
1994 L. Victor Pathe  
1993 Bob Rae  
1992 Laurel Sefton MacDowell  
1991 George W. Adams  
1990 Seymour Martin Lipset  
1989 Paul Weiler  
1988 Rosalie Abella  
1987 Melvyn Dubofsky  
1986 Jeffrey Sack and John Murray  
1985 John T. Dunlop  
1984 Robert White  
1983 Lynn Williams  
 
See event listings for recent and upcoming Sefton-Williams Memorial Lectures