Alexander Bustamante Biography

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Biography Part 3 - Return to Jamaica

Having made his fortune on the American Stock Exchange, Alexander Bustamante returned to Jamaica in 1932.

He set up a money lending business in Duke Street, Kingston, which was very successful. However, Bustamante became acutely aware of the harsh conditions of Jamaica's poor. He also saw how the bureaucratic government was ineffective at dealing with the real problems of the people.

He began his public campaign on behalf of the people of Jamaica by writing letters to national newspapers, notably the Jamaica Gleaner and the Jamaica Standard as well as several British newspapers. Bustamante became more involved in workers rights issues and became the treasurer of the Jamaica Workers and Tradesmen's Union in 1937. He also actively supported the Peoples National Party (PNP), which was established by his cousin Norman Manley. He eventually left the PNP to devote more time to supporting the labour movement.

In 1938 he established the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union, this quickly became the largest trade union in Jamaica and still is to this day.

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Next: Labour Riots

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