Oral history series

In 2018-19, our research team conducted thirty-four interviews with retired construction workers, labour activists, their family members, and a community advocate. Most of them were members of the Labourers’ International Union of North America’s Local 183. Twenty-eight of these were made into short (6-10 minute) videos focusing on the interviewees’ experiences as immigrants, workers, and union members. The remaining interviews were reserved for the documentary. You can watch them below.

Abilio de Jesus: “Back then we didn’t say goodbye.” [Portuguese with English subtitles]

Angelo Zaccaria: “The worker deserves respect!” [English]

Antonio Cammisuli: “I got out, but the boots stayed.” [Italian with English subtitles]

António Filipe: “It was always windy up there.” [Portuguese with English subtitles]

Augusto Cameirão: “Son, you go travel the world.” [Portuguese with English subtitles]

Carlos Botelho: “I was lucky in life.” [Portuguese with English subtitles]

Chris Gaffney: “I think I put the airport out.” [English]

Ellis Duphney: “They called me Newfy.” [English]

Felice Sacco: “They are waiting for me at home this evening.” [Italian with English subtitles]

Francisco Bolota: “I came as a soccer player, with polished nails.” [Portuguese with English subtitles]

Giovanni Rasetta: “We were racing along Eglinton with trucks” [English]

Gunter Hartleb: “Make a name for yourself.” [English]

James Garner: “To hell with the machines.” [English]

João Cardoso: “I went to work happy.” [Portuguese with English subtitles]

John Ferreira: “Go West young man.” [English]

Lou Castaldo: “Industry is like a juggernaut, it doesn’t move quickly” [English]

Luis Silva: “I was coming from heavy labour.” [Portuguese with English subtitles]

Mamadou Bah: “They can be like me tomorrow.” [English]

Michael Byrne: “Without a local union, what have you got?” [English]

Mike Squadrilla: “It was bad those days.” [English]

Norman Pike’s family: “Mr. Safety” [English]

Pasquale Cerra: “We were all a family.” [Italian with English subtitles]

Quinto Ceolin: “We got to do something for these people.” [English]

Rocco Di Giovanni: “God sent me there!” [English]

Rocco Lotito: “A lot of them worked scared.” [English]

Rosemary Powell: “Here is an opportunity.” [English]

Seamus Walsh: “The world was upside down one time.” [English]

Stephen Facey: “Take it off in the joint.” [English]