A Surprising Struggle? The AMIEU(Qld) and the Fight for Equal Wages in the Meat Processing and Export Industry in the 1950s and 1960s
journal contributionposted on 05.06.2017, 06:43 by Jerrard, Marjorie
In the 1950s, the Queensland branch of the AMIEU initiated and led a campaign for equal wages for women in the meat export: and processing industry. In doing so, the AMIEU(Qld) was alone as the other state branches were not inclined to pursue the struggle and the Victorian branch actually opposed it. Over two decades the Federal union's attitude changed to coincide with the Queensland view. The influence of the CPA on the Queensland branch and the personal dedication to the fight by the State Secretaries are the differentiating features and must be of consideration when analysing the decisions of the AMIEU(Qld) during the 1950s and 1960s. Feminist ideology, the structure of the Queensland meat export and processing industry, and the practical significance of the outcome itself are also important in explaining why the AMIEU(Qld) led what, to those outside the union, was a surprising struggle.