Labor Council of New South Wales
|Full name||Labor Council of New South Wales|
|Key people||Mark Lennon (unionist)|
|Office location||Sydney, New South Wales|
The Labor Council of New South Wales is the peak representative body for trade unions in the state of New South Wales, Australia. As of 2005 there are 67 unions and 8 Rural and Regional Trades & Labor Councils affiliated to the Labor Council, representing 800,000 workers in NSW. It is registered as the State Peak Council of Employees under Section 215 of the Industrial Relations Act 1996 (NSW).
The Labor Council was formed by six unions in 1871, and originally called the Trades & Labor Council of Sydney. The council experienced rapid growth during its early history, with the number of affiliated unions tripling between 1885 and 1890, and total membership reaching 35,000 in the same year, or 60 percent of union members in the Colony of New South Wales. By 1891, 21.5 percent of all employees in the colony were union members, making its the most organised workforce in the world. In 1894 it changed its name to the Sydney District of Australasian Labour Federation. Union organisation in the colony suffered badly during the economic depression of the 1890s, due to high unemployment, aggressive anti-union policies by employers and a number of large, unsuccessful strikes including the 1890 Australian maritime dispute and the 1891 Australian shearers strike.
In 1900 it again changed name to the Sydney Labor Council, changing again eight years later to the Labor Council of New South Wales.
In 2005 it adopted the name Unions New South Wales for all public purposes, but retained the official name Labor Council of New South Wales.
The Labor Council of New South Wales is responsible for:
- implementing Australian Council of Trade Unions policy within New South Wales.
- 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 New South Wales unions.
- Ownership of the Sydney Trades Hall was transferred to the Labor Council in 2002, from the original trustees: the Trades Hall Association.
Labor Council Secretaries
- Cooper, Rae (Nov 2002). "'To organize wherever the necessity exists': the activities of the Organising Committee of the Labor Council of NSW, 1900-1910". Labour History (Australian Society for the Study of Labour History) (83): 43–64. Retrieved 8 December 2013.