When the Federated Miscellaneous Workers Union (FMWU) and the Federated Liquor and Allied Industries Employees Union (FLAIEU) amalgamated in 1993 to form the Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union (LHMU) they produced one of the largest and most influential employee organisations in Australia. This position of influence was no accident but the product of the specific histories of the two organisations at both national and state levels. While detailed research on the national histories of both organisations has been done, little attention has been paid in this to the Tasmanian branches. This article looks at the establishment of the Tasmanian Branch of the FMWU. It focuses particularly on the interplay of local political, social and economic factors which made general unionism viable in the 1950s in a regional location such as Tasmania.