Union Songs

The Builders' Labourers' Song

Author unknown©1975

- [play]

We're putting up new buildings, we're knocking down the old
We're working in the summer heat and in the winter cold
And the labour-power we sell, my boys, for a hard-earned weekly pay
Produces mighty profits for the greedy MBA

So keep your powder dry – hold your head up high
It's class to class and face to face; our limit is the sky
We've got a fighting history and we never will be cowed
A builders' labourer is a name to make a man feel proud

And whether we were born here or born in Italy
Or Greece or Spain or Ireland, in England or Fiji
We all of us are workers and united we must stand
Until the wealthy bludgers have been driven from our land

We faced deregistration and it backfired in their face
We're not fooled by arbitration and we won't stay "in our place"
We hit the bosses hard and fast to win and keep our gains
And break a couple of concrete pours to back our log of claims


Many thanks to Bob Mancor for sending this song to the Union Songs collection. It was published in the Builders' Labourers' Song Book in 1975.

Bob writes:
" The singer of the BLF Song is Tom Reid, an Irishman who came to Australia in 1974 and returned to live there in the mid-80s. We think this song was written by a school teacher from the Western Suburbs and this version plus the original has been played every Sunday morning on 'The Concrete Gang' a program on 3CR Community Radio Melbourne for the last thirty years"

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