Max  Gordon was born in 1910,he was adopted by a family named Gordon after his father's early death.In 1932 he earned a bachelor's degree at the University of Cape Town ,where he fell in with swtudent radicals who introduced him to Trotskyism.Gordon soon moved to Johannesburg where he worked to revive the faltering African Laundry Worker's Union.In May 1940,before the Soviet Union entered World War Two against Germany,Gordon was interned by the Smuts government for a year on the pretext that he was promoting communism and causing hostility between workers and employers.Some unions declined in his absence and factions developed over the question of whether white leadersship was necessary to promote black unions.

In January 1942 Gordon went to port Elizabeth where he launched a range of new unions among cement,soft drinks,food and canning,engineering,leather and distributive workers an initiative that helped to account in later decades for that city's high rate of unionization.After the war's end Gordon decided to move.He worked in London beofe eventually returning with his family to CTwhere he was employed by a finance company,Gerber Goldschmidt,and lived in the upscale suburb of Constantia.


Gail M. Gerhart, Teresa Barnes, Antony Bugg-Levine, Thomas Karis, Nimrod Mkele .From Protest to Challenge 4-Political Profiles (1882-1990) (last accessed 12 December 2018)

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