Vale Fred Thompson
Sep 09, 2011
L to R, QLD Secretary, Andrew Dettmer, apprentice Brett Wooler, and Fred Thompson at an apprentice conference in 2008. Fred remained an active unionist long after his retirement as an official in 1976
The AMWU this week farewelled Fred Thompson, a union stalwart, socialist, and legend of the Australian union movement.
Fred was a member of the AMWU and its predecessors for 71 years, joining the Amalgamated Engineering Union in 1939 as an apprentice toolmaker.
He was an activist in Victoria and moved to Queensland after his war service in New Guinea and elsewhere. Fred became a Union Organiser in the 1950s, and retired in 1976.
Fred was a major influence over the union movement and led many campaigns in Northern Australia, having responsibility for organising both Northern and Far North Queensland, the Northern Territory and Papua New Guinea.
Fred was also active in his community, and with his wife Loma, was active in firstly the Communist Party and, in later years, the ALP.
Fred was responsible for nurturing the careers of many activists and officials in the labour movement.
He gave of himself freely in the cause of the working class.
He was still active in the AMWU’s Townsville District Committee and in union education up to the time of his passing.
Fred will be remembered by all who knew him as a man of integrity, of humour, and of determination.
Our condolences go to Loma, Peter, Jan and Roger and their families.
Contact Email: david.gibney [at] amwu.asn.au