Oral history series

Between January and March 2018, our research team conducted twenty-one interviews with retired construction workers and union members, most of them members of the Labourers’ International Union of North America’s Local 183. Nineteen of these were made into short (6-8 minute) videos focusing on the interviewees’ experiences as migrants, workers, and union members – the remaining two interviews, with Marino Toppan and Michael Gallagher, were reserved for the documentary. The interviews were carried by Gilberto Fernandes and Thomas Arthur, and filmed by Luis Medeiros (except for Francisco Bolota, who was filmed by Daniel Cooper). 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]

Augusto Cameirão: “Son, you go travel the world.” [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]

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

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

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]

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

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

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

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

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

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