Amalgamated Engineering Union (Australia)

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A.E.U.
Amalgamated Engineering Union (Australia) logo.png
Full name Amalgamated Engineering Union (Australia)
Founded 1852
Date dissolved 1973
Merged into Amalgamated Metal Workers' Union
Members 83,500 (1969)[1]
Country Australia

The Amalgamated Engineering Union (AEU), originally known as the Amalgamated Society of Engineers, was an Australian trade union which existed between 1852 and 1973. It represented engineers, as well as some other metal trades workers.

History[edit]

The first Australian branch of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers was formed in Sydney in 1852 by 27 members of the British union who had emigrated to Australia following a lockout in Britain. While the Australian section was the first overseas branch of the union to be formed, several others were established over the course of the 19th century, including in Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and the USA.[1]

In 1890 a breakaway group formed the Australasian Society of Engineers, dissatisfied with the union being controlled from Britain. The ASE was to continue to operate in parallel to the AEU throughout its history, and the two organisations were bitter rivals in organizing engineering workers.[2]

In 1921, following the amalgamation of the parent ASE union with several smaller British engineering unions, the Society was renamed the Amalgamated Engineering Union. In February 1938 the Australian branch was deregistered, but was re-established later the same year, to be known as the Amalgamated Engineering Union (Australian Section).[1] In 1969 the Australian branch separated from its British parent union, forming an autonomous union known simply as the Amalgamated Engineering Union (AEU). In 1972 the union began amalgamating with the Sheet Metal Working Industrial Union of Australia, the Boilermakers and Blacksmiths' Society of Australia and the Federated Jewellers, Watchmakers and Allied Trades Union of Australia.[3] This new, larger union was given the name the Amalgamated Metal Workers' Union (AMWU).[3]

Constitutional Law[edit]

The ASE was famous for its involvement in the landmark High Court of Australia case, Amalgamated Society of Engineers v Adelaide Steamship Co. Ltd., which overturned the doctrine of implied intergovernmental immunities, significantly altering the balance of power in Australian federalism.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Sheridan, T. (1975). Mindful Militants: The Amalgamated Engineering Union in Australia, 1920-1972. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-20680-8. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  2. ^ Saunders, Malcolm; Lloyd, Neil (Nov 2011). "Arbitration or Collaboration? The case of the Australasian society of engineers in South Australia 1904-68". Labour History 101: 123–144. doi:10.5263/labourhistory.101.0123. 
  3. ^ a b Smith, Bruce A. (2010). "Amalgamated Engineering Union". Australian Trade Union Archives. Retrieved 11 December 2013.