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Issue #1916      May 25, 2020


The Communist Party of Australia mourns the passing of Jack Mundey, a great communist, unionist and environmentalist.

Jack’s work in the Builders Labourers’ Federation (BLF) and its legacy is a lasting example for any unionist who truly fights for the working class.

We remember with admiration and gratitude that Jack led the campaigns which saved working class communities and historic buildings in Sydney in areas like Woolloomooloo, Potts Point, The Rocks, Centennial Park, Victoria Street in Kings Cross, the last stretch of public bushland on the Parramatta River and, in his final years, the campaign to protect the Sirius building and the Bondi Pavilion.

The CPA endorses Jack’s argument that the political significance of the green-ban movement was that it demonstrated the power of an alliance between environmentalists and trade unionists.

Jack joined the Communist Party of Australia in 1957. His communism influenced his work as unionist and political activist and, as a result, his leadership of the BLF stands in stark contrast to moderates who wish to see unions engage in class collaboration. Jack and the BLF rejected this and knew the real fight for the working class was not just for reform within capitalism but for socialism.

We believe that this work would not have been possible without a militant worker-driven union with communism at its core. The BLF is to this day a shining example of how a union should be.

It was this militant uncompromising approach to unionism that gave birth to the BLF fighting for broader political goals rather than fighting on a purely economic level. As a crusading unionist, Jack also fought for safety reforms on building sites and, from the 1960s, helped usher in a new era of union activism for wider social issues, including women’s rights, gay liberation, and indigenous land rights.

We have lost a hero of the Australian working class and our Party sends our deepest condolences.

And yet, wherever working people and environmentalists fight for a green and socialist future, Jack will always be there with us.

Vinnie Molina – CPA President


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