Australian Maoists and Builders Laborers

Tom O'Lincoln red_sites at
Wed Aug 7 21:45:16 MDT 2002

Ben wrote:

>The Maoists in Australia ...
>were pretty big on campus, especially in their centre >in Melbourne,during the 1970s....

They were also important in Adelaide.

>Builders' Labourers' Federation where they inherited a base in their 1963 split with the CPA. They led this union (in Victoria at least)

They controlled it nationally but not in all states, most notably not in NSW, where a rival Communist faction was in control until the Federal leadership intervened and smashed it.

>until the 1980s, when a Labour government smashed it.

Indeed, with the help of the ACTU (union peak body). Poetic justice for the Maoist bureaucrats but a brutal experience for the militants.

>the BLF tradition has survived

To a degree.

>Victorian construction workers are by far and away the best organised and most militant in the country

True but they're not what they were in the old days

>and their current union inherited the extremely democratic structure of the BLF.

Norm Gallagher's BLF was not especially democratic -- in fact as I mentioned the Federal leadership smashed up a NSW branch which had considerable local support. Today's leadership is also the subject of complaints from some militants I know.

>But the contemporary construction militants have nothing to do with the CPA-ML.

Not at lot, but I suspect there are still a few members of the "Communist Party Marxist-Phonebox" out there.

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