with Lauren Laframboise and Stefan Christoff
In 2007, Montreal-based garment manufacturer Lamour prepared to shutter its Canadian production activities, gradually laying off nearly 500 of its employees to circumvent labour legislation that would force the company to pay collective layoff benefits. Over 2007 and 2008, Lamour workers and community organizers at the Immigrant Workers Centre (IWC) engaged in a struggle to gain compensation for Lamour employees. In 2023, Stefan Christoff and Lauren Laframboise recorded short oral history interviews with four IWC organizers who were involved in the Lamour struggle (Mostafa Henaway, Joey Calugay, Yumna Siddiqi and Bita Mary Eslami). The interviews reveal the crucial role that the IWC plays in non-unionized industries that primarily employ immigrant workers. The IWC organizers also reflect on their own paths to community organizing, and the ways that work has continued to transform amidst the rise in the logistics industry and temporary employment agencies.
The interviews were broadcasted on the community radio show Free City Radio in September and October 2023. Based at CKUT 90.3 FM, Free City Radio is hosted and produced by Stefan Christoff and is syndicated at five radio stations across Canada, broadcast on Radio AlHara in occupied Palestine, and is also released as a podcast on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. The interviews were also completed in partnership with the Deindustrialization and the Politics of Our Time project based at COHDS. Listen to the interviews and find out more about the project here. This event will bring together those who were interviewed in a panel-style discussion to look back on the Lamour campaign collectively.
Lauren Laframboise is a PhD student in History at Concordia and a Student Representative on the COHDS Administrative Board. Her research explores the impacts of deindustrialization in the apparel industry in Montréal and New York City. In 2021, Lauren completed her MA in History at Concordia, and from 2020-2022 she was the Associate Director of Deindustrialization and the Politics of Our Time (DéPOT). She has worked on a variety of public history projects exploring labour and immigration history, including museum exhibitions, online oral history platforms, walking tours, and documentary film and radio. She is also a member of the Concordia Research and Education Workers’ Union (CREW–CSN) Organizing Council and Co-convener of their Feminist Workplace Committee.
Stefan Christoff is a musician, community radio host and student living in Tiohtià:ke / Montréal.
More information on panelists coming soon!
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In-person at LB-1019 (Sunroom)
COHDS/ALLAB is located on unceded Kanien’kehá:ka territory, in Tiohtiá:ke/Montreal.