Florence Anderson

Anderson, Florence (?-1949)

B.? M.? three children. D. 18 Dec. 1949

First female trade union secretary in Victoria and one of only two female secretaries of state branches of FMWU to present day; commenced working life as school teacher. After husband died became office cleaner, rebelling from expectation that cleaners take office towels home to launder. Secretary of Female Office Cleaners Union from 1916 (part-time) and full time (1919). Elected Victorian secretary of Miscellaneous Workers Union, 1930; held office till 1946; federal councillor of above union, VTHC, ACTU, and ALP delegate. With Muriel Heagney (q.v.) Jean Daley (q.v) and Margaret Wearne (q.v.??) active in campaign for equal pay. A ‘big strong woman’, ‘the iron hand in the velvet glove, that type of lady’.

ANU Archives Deposit 2370/ box 70; Labor Call, 18 April 1940, 18 April 1946; Federation News, July 1985, December 1990; Merrifield papers; Beasley, The Missos.

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