Sefton/Williams Memorial Lecture

Background of the 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. 

For a list of all Sefton/Williams Memorial lecturers, topics, audio and text transcripts,  please visit the Centre for Industrial Relations & Human Resources site.

Each year the Sefton/Williams Award for Contributions to Labour Relations is also presented.  The award honours individuals who have made a significant contribution to the field of labour relations and human rights.  Both practitioners in labour relations as well as academics have received this award.

The Sefton/Williams Award  
1997 Ralph Barford
1998 Lynn Williams
1999 Bob White
2000 Noah Meltz
2001 Shirley Goldenberg
2002 Rick MacDowell
2003 Des Morton
2004 Pradeep Kumar
2005 Frances Bairstow
2006 Alan Borovoy
2007 Leah Casselman
2008 Warren Edmondson
2009 Leo Gerard
2010 Bob Baldwin
2011 Andrew Jackson
2012 Chris Schenk
2013 Homer Seguin
2014 Linda Briskin
2015 Ed Broadbent
2016 Olivia Chow