VALE LAURIE CARMICHAEL – VISIONARY TRADE UNION LEADER

18 Aug 2018

It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of trade unionist, visionary social reformer and giant of the Australian labour movement, Laurie Carmichael.

 

SENATOR THE HON DOUG CAMERON
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR SKILLS, TAFE AND APPRENTICESHIPS
SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES
 
VALE LAURIE CARMICHAEL – VISIONARY TRADE UNION LEADER
 

It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of trade unionist, visionary social reformer and giant of the Australian labour movement, Laurie Carmichael.

He is survived by his son Laurie Carmichael Jr and step daughter Kerry.

Laurie Carmichael, 93, served in the Royal Australian Air Force in WWII before becoming a highly respected trade unionist with the metalworkers union and the ACTU.

His leadership and campaigning skills were the basis for many reforms Australians enjoy today.

He fought for compulsory superannuation, universal health care, vocational training and accessibility of higher education to the working class.

He understood the value of education and the Hawke/Keating government entrusted him to help overhaul Australia’s vocational education system.

New South Wales Senator Doug Cameron said Mr Carmichael was a valued mentor, comrade and friend.

“He was one of the most intelligent and capable men I ever met, combined with a toughness and dedication to achieving working class objectives.” Senator Cameron said.

“Laurie fought on behalf of working class Australians to achieve fundamental social reforms we all enjoy today.

“He was a brilliant strategist, one of the best left-wing thinkers in the country and a tireless advocate for working class Australians.”

Mr Carmichael served with the RAAF before working as a fitter at the Williamston naval dockyards in Victoria at the end of WWII.

He joined the Amalgamated Engineering Union in 1946 and became an active member of the Australian Communist Party around that time, initiating a lifetime of political action and activity.

By 1958, he had risen to state secretary of the Victorian branch of the AEU before becoming the assistant national secretary of the Amalgamated Metal Workers Union in 1972.

In 1987, he was elected as assistant secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions.

Mr Carmichael worked closely with Bill Kelty and the ACTU leadership on the Accord, securing important improvements in the lives of working Australians.  

“Laurie was a dear friend and a true giant of the labour movement,” Senator Cameron said.

“I pay my deepest respects to Laurie Jr, Kerry and the rest of the family at their time of loss.”
 
SATURDAY 18 AUGUST, 2018

MEDIA CONTACT: JASON GILLICK 0417 152 137


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