Victorian Trades Hall Council

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VTHC
Victorian Trades Hall Council logo.png
Full name Victorian Trades Hall Council
Founded 1856
Members ~400,000 (2007)[1]
Country Australia
Affiliation ACTU
Key people Brian Boyd, Secretary
Office location Melbourne, Victoria
Website www.vthc.org.au

The Victorian Trades Hall Council is a representative body of trade union organisations, known as a Labour council, in the State of Victoria, Australia. It includes 60 affiliated Trade Unions and Professional Associations, and eight Victorian regional Trades and Labour Councils.

The eight regional Trades and Labour Councils of Victoria are Ballarat Regional, Bendigo, Geelong and Region, Gippsland, Goulburn Valley, Mallee Murray, North-East and Border and South West.

Affiliation to the Council is open to any industrial organisation of employees with at least 20 financial members. Delegates from affiliated organisations are elected to meet as the Victorian Trades Hall Council. There is an annual conference to set policy, with monthly Council Meetings, and an Executive which meets more often to administer the affairs between council meetings, particularly matters of an urgent nature.[2]

Responsibilities[edit]

The Victorian Trades Hall Council is responsible for:

  • implementing Australian Council of Trade Unions policy within Victoria.
  • co-ordinating union activities and campaigns, involving more than one union.
  • providing assistance with research, negotiations and advocacy to affiliated organisations.
  • lobbying State Parliament for social and industrial reforms.
  • providing a public point of contact for general enquiries on Victorian unions.
  • administering Melbourne Trades Hall, which provides offices and meeting rooms for the Council and Executive, as well as leasing space to affiliated unions and other activist and social change groups.

Secretaries of the Victorian Trades Hall Council[edit]

History[edit]

In 1856 stonemasons in Melbourne won the eight hour day, one of the first occasions in the world where organised workers had achieved this without loss of pay. The same year Melbourne Trades Hall Committee was formed and received a grant of land to build a Trades Hall. The world's first workers parliament, Melbourne Trades Hall, was built on the site in 1859. It was built in the style of the parliament buildings which were just down the road, and over the years has been further developed.[9] With increasing activity during the 1880s in the Australian labour movement the committee became a Council to reflect its expanding role. The full title, Victorian Trades Hall Council was formally adopted in 1968.

In recent times, as well as being the centre for union activity, the Trades Hall Council has opened the Trades Hall building to many cultural events, plays, and concerts including the Melbourne Comedy Festival - concentrating on political and 'on the edge' performances.[10] It was classified by the National Trust and is included in the Register of Historic Buildings (Victoria).[11]

Some notable members of the Trades Hall Council from the 1880s include William Trenwith and Chummy Fleming, both from the Victorian Operative Bootmakers Union.

Issues[edit]

Leigh Hubbard as Secretary of the VTHC, along with Sharan Burrow, President of the ACTU, signed an international labor declaration against the war on Iraq in February 2003 involving over 200 unions and 550 union leaders from 53 countries representing 130 million workers.[12] The Victorian Trades Hall Council is an affiliate of the Victorian Peace Network (Vicpeace).[13]

Victorian Trades Hall president Kevin Bracken sparked outrage on 20 October 2010 when he told Jon Faine's ABC talk-back program the 911 attacks on the World Trade Center were not the result of terrorist activity. He said the story was a conspiracy that "didn't stand up" to scientific scrutiny.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ - Membership info from VTHC web site
  2. ^ VTHC website Accessed 30 April 2007]
  3. ^ Howard's IR plans find a foe in new Trades Hall head, Brian Boyd ABC Radio transcript, The World Today, 8 March 2005. Accessed 30 April 2007
  4. ^ Two in line for Hubbard's union job The Age 29 January 2005. Accessed 30 April 2007
  5. ^ Doyen of the left dies at 68 The Age 21 December 2003. Accessed 30 April 2007
  6. ^ Monk, Albert Ernest (1900-1975) Australian Dictionary of Biography
  7. ^ Holloway, Edward James (Jack) (1875-1967) Australian Dictionary of Biography
  8. ^ Murphy, William Emmett (1841-1921) Australian Dictionary of Biography
  9. ^ A Documentary History of the Australian Labor Movement 1850-1975, Brian McKinley, (1979) ISBN 0-909081-29-8
  10. ^ Did you hear the one about the comedian who broke even? The Age 8 April 2007. Accessed 30 April 2007
  11. ^ Statement of Cultural Heritage Significance National Trust of Australia - Victoria. Accessed 30 April 2007
  12. ^ Organizations Representing 130 Million Workers Say NO to War! United for Peace and Justice website. Accessed 12 May 2007
  13. ^ See Vicpeace website Accessed 12 May 2007.
  14. ^ [1]
  • Melbourne Trades Hall Reason in Revolt website Source Documents of Australian Radicalism
  • Radical and Working Class Politics. A Study of Eastern Australia 1850-1910 Robin Gollan, MUP (1966) No ISBN