Food and Canning Workers' Union (South Africa); annual reports, publications, resolutions etc.

Scope and Content

Includes: Annual Reports 1948 - 1976; annual conference minutes 1948, 1964, 1966, 1974, 1975; minutes of the Management Committee 1960 - 1965; various newsletters and journals, including Food and Canning Workers' Union, The Food Worker, Ikwezi Lomso and Workers' Unity; memoranda, reports and various circulars; Rex Close's New Life (Cape Town 1950), an account of the FCWU; 1967 annual report of African Food and Canning Worker's Union.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Food and Canning Workers' Union was founded in 1941 by Ray Alexander, a leading member of the South African Communist Party. Its branches were concentrated among the small fishing and farming villages of the Western and Eastern Cape, and its headquarters was in Cape Town; its members were mainly `coloured' women workers. During the late 1950's and early 1960's it was affiliated to the South African Congress of Trade Unions, an allied organisation of the African National Congress. In this period the FCWU was politically considerably more radical than many other trade unions: in the aftermath of Sharpeville, for example, its membership responded to the call of the black nationalist organisations and stayed away from work.

Conditions Governing Access



Originally published by Access to Archives - A2A. The data in this finding aid is in the copyright of the place of deposit.

Related Material

(The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, also has a collection of FCWU material, on microfilm).


Geographical Names