Commonwealth Council of Federated Unions

Identity area

Type of entity

Peak council

Authorized form of name

Commonwealth Council of Federated Unions

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

1923 - 1927


The Commonwealth Council of Federated Unions was founded as an advisory body at a Melbourne Conference of Commonwealth registered unions held in February 1923. Its functions were limited to dealing with issues that arose from the administration of the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Act and other federal legislation involving wages, hours of labour and employment conditions for members of federal organisations. It was not to interfere with the affairs of the States Trades and Labor Councils and individual unions. It was based largely in Victoria with C A Crofts (Federated Gas Employees' Industrial Union) as Secretary and H G Gibson (Federated Engine Drivers and Firemen's Association of Australia) as the first President. The main issues of concern to organise opposition to attempts by employer organisations to have the Basic Wage reduced, to conduct a campaign for the restoration of the 44-hour week where it had been withdrawn, and to establish the principle as a standard in all industries. By 1926 it had about 60 affiliates that represented 300 000 unionists. However, as a result of its inefficient handling of the Basic Wage review case, and due to its rejection of the State Labor Councils' proposals to be agents of the Federal structure, it was superseded by a new Australasian body the Council of Trade Unions in 1927.


Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Representation for trade unionists

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Access points area


Control area

Authority record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Entered from deposit description 28 November 2012




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