Framework of Flesh

Framework of Flesh

Builders’ Labourers Battle
for Health & Safety

by Humphrey McQueen

Mangled ExampleThis book takes up a 1920s challenge from a militant labourer, Charlie Sullivan:
“few ever think of the great and humble army whose sweat and blood are mingled in the concrete and bricks as surely as if the walls were built over a framework of human flesh.”
McQueen uses labourers’ own words to retell their battles around scaffolding and shithouses, for the safe removal of asbestos, prompt and adequate compensation, and a decent burial.

The stories start in convict times and cover the six states and the ACT. The labourers’ struggle for health and safety is followed into their dismantling of the framework of fear erected by the Building and Construction Commission.

By tracking on-the-job experiences of demolishers, dog-men, hod-carriers and navvies, McQueen confirms the conviction of an early official of the BLF, Ben Mulvogue:

image
A union constitutes a school for the working class, wherein they learn self-reliance, learn their rights, privileges, opportunities, as well as their possibilities. Every new demand for better physical protection of the workers ensures a great ideal development for a future generation.
In homage to this hope for the world, Framework of Flesh contributes to builders’ labourers’ struggle for socialism.

image

Framework of the Flesh ‘The genius of Humphrey McQueen has brought to life the tremendous and sometimes fatal efforts made by building labourers in constructing the built environment of Australia. I hope that Framework of Flesh is read by every building worker and by all those with an interest in occupational health and safety, and in construction labour worldwide.’ – Professor Linda Clarke, author of Building Capitalism (1993), Presidium Member, European Institute of Construction Labour Research.

3 responses to “Framework of Flesh

  1. by Steve Gray AAP

    At war over workplace safety

    CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

    FRAMEWORK OF FLESH. By Humphrey
    McQueen. Ginninderra Press. 337pp. $30.

    Reviewer: STEVE GRAY

    Collapsed scaffolding at a building site in Melbourne in February this year. Framework of Flesh is a history of the battle for workplace health and safety in Australia’s construction industry.

    It is also a disturbing read – the bland facts of history are accompanied by a cascade of bodies. Men topple off dangerous scaffolding, are buried alive in unsafe trenches, are killed by debris falling on unhelmeted heads, fall down unmarked lift shafts, are crushed and splattered and maimed.

    READ More at https://bushtelegraph.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/canberra-times-on-framework.pdf

    Like

  2. Peter Curtis

    Humphrey McQueen will be launching is book Framework of Flesh on Wednesday the 13th May 6.30 at the Trades Hall New International Bookshop

    HUMPHREY MCQUEEN: B.L.F. BOOK LAUNCH

    Book Launch
    Framework of Flesh: Builders’ Labourers Battle for Health and Safety
    6 for 6:30pm Wednesday 13 May

    “The genius of Humphrey McQueen has brought to life the tremendous and sometimes fatal efforts made by building labourers in constructing the built environment of Australia. I hope that Framework of Flesh is read by every building worker and by all those with an interest in occupational health and safety, and in construction labour worldwide.”- Professor Linda Clarke, author of Building Capitalism (1993), Presidium Member, European Institute of Construction Labour Research

    Framework of Flesh takes up a 1920s challenge from a militant labourer, Charlie Sullivan:

    “Few ever think of the great and humble army whose sweat and blood are mingled in the concrete and bricks as surely as if the walls were built over a framework of human flesh.”

    McQueen uses labourers’ own words to retell their battles around scaffolding and shithouses, for the safe removal of asbestos, prompt and adequate compensation, and a decent burial.

    The stories start in convict times and cover the six States and the ACT. The labourers’ struggle for health and safety is followed into their dismantling of the framework of fear erected by the Building and Construction Commission.

    The concluding chapter, ‘Killing no murder’, dethrones the majesty of bourgeois justice by detailing why there can never be ‘one law for all’ in a class system.

    By tracking on-the-job experiences of demolishers, dog-men, hod-carriers and navvies, McQueen confirms the conviction of an early official of the BLF, Ben Mulvogue:

    ‘A union constitutes a school for the working class, wherein they learn self-reliance, learn their rights, privileges, opportunities, as well as their possibilities. Every new demand for better physical protection of the workers ensures a great ideal development for a future generation.’

    In homage to this hope for the world, Framework of Flesh contributes to the BLs’ struggle for socialism.

    Framework of Flesh: Builders’ Labourers’ Battle for Health & Safety, Humphrey McQueen, Ginninderra Press, $30.00.

    Like

  3. "Framework of Flesh" by Humphrey McQueen out now

    Humphrey McQueen’s book now has it own website at Framework of Flesh—Builders’ Labourers Battle for Health & Safety

    This Website contains samples from the book and purchasing information.


    In Queensland Framework of Flesh can be ordered through LeftPress — Workers Printing & Publishing by mail to LeftPress, PO Box 5093 West End, 4101 or by email to leftpress@optusnet.com.au

    Please Note: Framework of Flesh costs $20 plus postage if ordered by post and $28 if bought at bookshops. LeftPress issues receipts on all transactions.

    Like

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