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Boilermakers and Blacksmiths Society of Australia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Boilermakers and Blacksmiths Society of Australia
Merger ofBoilermakers' Society of Australia
Blacksmiths' Society of Australia
  • Australia

The Boilermakers and Blacksmiths Society of Australia (BBS) was an Australian trade union representing boilermakers and blacksmiths between 1965 and 1972.

It was established on 1 January 1966 with the amalgamation of the Boilermakers' Society of Australia and the Blacksmiths' Society of Australia. Though widely described as the formation of a new union, it inherited the industrial registration of the Boilermakers' Society. The union was associated with a "militant left-wing" group within the Metal Trades Federation.[1][2][3][4]

The BBS was the principal union involved in the 1971 Harco work-in, in which rank-and-file workers seized control of a heavy engineering factory in the Sydney suburb of Campbelltown to protest the sacking of five boilermakers. The workers, inspired by the example of 'work-ins' at Upper Clyde Shipbuilders in the UK and French car workers during the May 68 of 1968, occupied the factory for a period of four weeks.[5]

It amalgamated with the Sheet Metal Working Industrial Union of Australia and the Amalgamated Engineering Union in 1972 and ceased to exist at that time; however, due to legal issues over the name of the new union, the successor Amalgamated Metal Workers Union was not registered until 1973.[1][6][7]


  1. ^ a b "Boilermakers & Blacksmiths Society of Australia (1965–1972)". Australian Trade Union Archives. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  2. ^ "Two significant union mergers expected". The Canberra Times. 5 March 1965. p. 3. Retrieved 21 March 2020 – via Trove.
  3. ^ "Unions to combine". The Canberra Times. 31 December 1965. p. 3. Retrieved 21 March 2020 – via Trove.
  4. ^ "Boilermakers' warning". Tribune. New South Wales. 6 October 1965. p. 3. Retrieved 21 March 2020 – via Trove.
  5. ^ Cottle, Drew; Keys, Angela. "The Harco 'Stay-Put': Workers' Control In One Factory?" (PDF). Vintage Reds: Australian Stories of Rank and File Organising.
  6. ^ "INDUSTRIAL NEWS J Objection to use of new union title". The Canberra Times. 28 June 1972. p. 14. Retrieved 21 March 2020 – via Trove.
  7. ^ "Funds are freed by High Court". The Canberra Times. 8 June 1972. p. 14. Retrieved 21 March 2020 – via Trove.
This page was last edited on 13 December 2021, at 11:48
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