Deposit Z144 - Australian Council of Trade Unions Myers Enquiry deposit

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Australian Council of Trade Unions Myers Enquiry deposit


  • 1956 - 1980 (Creation)

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46 boxes plus additional 7 boxes (Z145)

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(1927 -)

Biographical history

The beginnings of the ACTU can be traced to a Trade Union Congress held in the Melbourne Trades Hall Council on 3 May 1927. The meeting was convened to 'consider the possibility of creating a representative body for the whole trade union movement in Australia'. The Congress elected a Committee of seven which produced a report including a proposed constitution for a new body named the Australasian Council of Trade Unions, which was accepted with two minor amendments on 7 May 1927. The name was changed to the Australian Council of Trade Unions at the 1947 Congress. The Australian Workers' Union joined the ACTU in 1967, and the ACTU's merger with two leading federations of white-collar unions, the Australian Council of Salaried and Professional Associations in 1979, and the Council of Australian Government Employee Organisations in 1981, gave it about 2,500,000 members, or more than three-quarters of trade union membership in Australia. The ACTU is the recognised representative of organised labour in centralised wage negotiations with business and the federal government. It has traditionally maintained a close association with the Australian Labor Party, though not actually affiliated to it. Robert Hawke, who was president of the ACTU from 1970 to 1980, went on to serve as Australian prime minister from 1983 to 1991 and later Presidents Simon Crean and Martin Ferguson became Federal ministers. The ACTU's policy-making body, a biennial congress, is made up of delegates from state branches of the federation (Trades and Labor Councils) and from affiliated trade unions.

Name of creator

(1915 - 1981)

Biographical history

An informal council of Commonwealth staff associations was formed in Melbourne in 1915, adopting a constitution in 1919. On 26 October 1921 a revised constitution was adopted forming the High Council of Commonwealth Public Service Organisations. It dropped the High from its name in 1969 and amended its name to the Council of Australian Government Employee Organisations at its 1975 Biennial Conference. The 1981 Congress of the Australian Council of Trade Unions endorsed the proposal that CAGEO merge with the ACTU as one of its industry groups and it formally merged on 23 September 1981 becoming the Australian Government Employment Section of the ACTU.

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Scope and content

Papers of Research Officer Sandra Prerost employed by the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the Council of Australian Government Employee Organisations to prepare submissions to the Committee of Enquiry into Technological Change in Australia (the Myers Enquiry), and of William Mansfield, Federal Secretary of the Australian Telecom Employees' Association and the ACTU representative on the committee. Includes publications collected by Chris Fisher including submissions to the Enquiry.


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Dates of creation revision deletion

Entered from deposit description 28 November 2012




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