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Trade Union entry Pastoral Workers Industrial Union (1930 - 1937)

New South Wales
Trade Union (State or Territory only)


Formed originally as a reformist committee within the Australian Workers' Union, by 1930 the Pastoral Workers' Industrial Union [PWIU], as it had then become known, developed into a militant left-wing union devoted to combating the activities of the Graziers' Association of New South Wales and what they regarded as reactionary Australian Workers' Union officials. Often linked with the Communist Party of Australia, the PWIU achieved many successes in its short life. It was the prime mover in several industrial disputes and won many concessions for its members. Ultimately though, Australia's only Red union voted itself out of existence in 1937, in a ballot that determined its members rejoin the Australian Workers' Union.

Published resources

Journal Articles

  • Moore, Andrew, 'The Pastoral Workers' Industrial Union, 1930-1937', Labour History, vol. 49, Australian Society for the Study of Labour History, Sydney, 1985, pp. 61-74. Details

Ross G. Elford