Sefton-Williams Memorial Lecture

See event listings for recent and upcoming Sefton-Williams Memorial Lectures

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.

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



Award Winner


David J. Doorey
PDF iconCan't Get there From Here: Thoughts on the Idea of Labour Law Reform in the 21st Century.pdf (VIDEO) | (PDF iconExtended Essay.pdf)

Deena Kumari Ladd


Ken Neumann
International Unionism in a Globalized Economy (VIDEO | PDF iconTEXT.pdf)

Ken Neumann


Ewan McGaughey
The Future of Democracy and Work: The Vote in our Economic Constitution (VIDEO | PDF iconTEXT)

Ken Delaney and John O'Grady


Kris Rondeau
Organizing With ‘Heart’: New Ways of Building Worker Movements (VIDEO)

Brad James



Award Winner


Judy Fudge
PDF iconWhat Makes Labour Free? (And Why This Question Matters)

Eric M. Tucker


Juliet Schor
PDF iconDependence & Precarity in the "Sharing Economy"

Carla Lipsig-Mummé


Richard Yeselson
Trade Unions and Populist Politics: What The Trump Presidency Truly Means for Labour 

Elaine Bernard


David Weil
PDF iconFissured Workplace: Is There Still a Role for Labour Policy in the New World of Work?

Olivia Chow


Miles Corak and Armine Yalnizyan
Inequality and its Discontents: a Canadian Perspective
PDF iconAY - Inequality and its Discontents: a Canadian Perspective
PDF icon MC - 'Inequality is the root of social evil,’ or maybe not: Two stories about inequality and public policy

Ed Broadbent


Jennifer Wells
PDF iconSweated Trades: Offshoring, Labour Standards, and the Corporate Response to Public Criticisms of Garment Factory Working Conditions

Linda Briskin


Nelson Lichtenstein, Tony Burke, and Natalie Des Rosier
Labour's Responses to Globalization: Alternative Forms of Organization
PDF icon TB - Why Unite and the USW created Workers Uniting – the Global Union
PDF iconNL - Supply chain tourist, or how globalization has transformed the labor question

Homer Seguin


John Cartwright
PDF iconThe Three-Part Crisis of Globalization

Chris Schenk


Leah Vosko
Beyond Managing the Margins: Gender, Citizenship and Precarious Employment (based on author's book)

Andrew Jackson


Don Drummond
PDF icon The Changing Canadian Workplace

Bob Baldwin




Award Winner


Hugh Mackenzie
PDF iconRoots of the Crisis: How Growing Inequality Sowed the Seeds for an Economic Meltdown | PDF iconPPT

Leo Gerard


Jim Stanford and Charlotte Yates
New Union Strategies for Tough Times: The CAW-Magna Deal, and other Responses
PDF iconJS - Opening Statement.pdf | PDF iconCY - Opening Statement
PDF iconJS - PPT | Lecture Audio | PDF iconDebate Transcript | Debate Audio

Warren Edmondson


Stephen Lewis
AIDS as Metaphor: The Class Struggle in the Workplace (DVD available for loan in the CIRHR Library)

Leah Casselman


Kate Bronfenbrenner
PDF iconGlobal Unions, Global Companies, and Cross Border Campaigns: The Vision, Opportunities, and Challenges Raised by the Global Union Conference 2006

Alan Borovoy


Harry Arthurs
PDF iconThe Rights Stuff: Labour and the Constitution: If Labour were Charged with Possessing Constitutional Rights, Would There be Enough Evidence to Convict It?

Frances Bairstow


Gordon Betcherman
PDF iconLabour Reform in China: How 700 Million Workers are Coping with Global Capitalism

Pradeep Kumar


Tim Armstrong
PDF iconContemporary Collective Bargaining: How Well is it Working?

Des Morton


Judy Darcy
PDF iconHostile Takeover: The Threat of Privatization

Rick MacDowell


Peter Warrian
PDF iconCan't Get There From Here: Old/New Unions in a New/Old Economy

PDF iconShirley Goldenberg


Richard Freeman

Noah Meltz




Award Winner


Julie White

Bob White


Kevin Burkett
PDF iconThe Politicization of the Ontario Labour Relations Framework in the Decade of the 1990s

Lynn Williams


Alexander (Sandy) Adam
PDF iconCrisis and Renewal: Algoma Steel Inc. - A Case Study in Adaptation

Ralph Barford


Graham S. Lowe
The Future of Work Implications for Unions



Leo Gerard



L. Victor Pathe
PDF iconLabour-Management Relations: Reflections on the Past, Challenges of the Future



Bob Rae



Laurel Sefton MacDowell
PDF iconLaw and Labour in Ontario: The Career of J.L. Cohen



George W. Adams
Towards a New Vitality: Reflections on Twenty Years of Collective Bargaining Information



Seymour Martin Lipset
PDF iconLabor and Socialism in Canada and the United States