Final-CoverManufacturing Unions – A Memoir

by John Blackwell


John Blackwell’s memoir of manufacturing unions in Australia is an important and insightful account of the history of Australian Trade Unionism.


“Blackwell is always the central presence of this deeply personal account and the reader is very much aware of this. His commitment and belief in his cause make this a compelling read. You just can’t stop.

His mates are there too as supporters, participants and players in the drama, but it is John Blackwell’s tale. His memory is prodigious … the industrial content is fascinating … an important and personal contribution to the history of Australian trade unionism and wage fixing.”
Ann Polis, trade union educator

“John has written with an honesty and forthrightness which epitomised his work as a union activist and official over many years.

John is a good friend, union and political colleague, and it is great to see him continuing to come to grips with the future of the union and progressive movements.

I hope this memoir is widely read, and more importantly that many more working class people will not only read it and learn from it, but be inspired to write their own … so this gap of the working class experience in our history will begin to be filled.”
Max Ogden, former union official

“A colourful and personal analysis of John’s involvement in Australia’s Communist Party, manufacturing trade unions and his life-long devotion to the rights of the working man – always holding the belief that workers have the right to participate in decision-making processes that impact their daily lives.

His mantra throughout has been ‘in unity there is strength’.”
Carole Prytula (née Blackwell)

John Blackwell now lives in Morayfield, Queensland, and can be contacted at . He spends much of his time playing golf and commenting on social and political trends through his essays.