|Full name||United Voice|
|Founded||6 May 1910 (as the WCCU)|
|Affiliation||ACTU, ALP, IUF|
|Key people||Louise Tarrant, National Secretary|
|Office location||303 Cleveland Street, Redfern, New South Wales 2016|
United Voice is a large Australian trade union, with around 130,000 members. United Voice members work in a wide range of occupations including hospitality, childcare, teachers' aides, aged care, property services (cleaning, security, maintenance etc.), health, manufacturing, ambulance workers (in some states) and community services. United Voice was formerly known as the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union (LHMU) (the "Missos").
United Voice is an amalgamation of the Federated Miscellaneous Workers' Union (FMWU) and Liquor Trades Union (LTU). This merger occurred in 1992 and the new union, known as the LHMU, had 200,000 members.
The union took its new name of United Voice effective 1 March 2011.
- 1 History
- 2 Governance & Structure
- 3 Affiliations
- 4 Current Campaigns
- 5 Previous Campaigns
- 6 External links
- 7 References
Foundation & Early Years
United Voice was first established in 1910 as the Watchmen, Caretakers and Cleaners Union of New South Wales (W.C.C.U.), which was created by the Organising Committee of the New South Wales Labor Council. The task of organisation was a difficult one, due to the casualised and isolated nature of the occupations covered. Under the leadership of the first Secretary of the WCCU, Joe Coote, the union adopted a pragmatic approach to increasing union membership, by including any workers not already represented by trade unions, such as paintmaking employees. To reflect the growing range of industries represented, on 15 December 1915 the union amalgamated with the Victorian Branch and changed its name to the Federated Miscellaneous Workers' Union.
30s, 40s and 50s
After steady growth over the first half of the century, including winning paid sick leave, annual leave and a forty-hour week, the union really took off in the 1950s. A new rank-and-file leadership took over to create a vibrant, member-driven union.
Famous campaigns during the 1950s and 60s included organising workers paid to be Santa Clauses at Christmas and a group of dance instructors who were locked out for four months before winning their jobs back.
60s, 70s, 80s
The strength of the "Missos" continued to grow over the years, with membership increasing from 25,000 in 1955 to 88,000 by 1975.
The move of flight catering and aircraft cleaning staff to join the Transport Workers Union in the mid-1990s lost the union several thousand members.
The end of compulsory unionism in 1996 with the election of the Howard Government had had a significant effect on membership, dropping from the high shortly after amalmagation to the current levels.
In recent years, the union has reported a small but important membership growth - going against the trend of most union membership figures in Australia. Its major campaign for cleaners called Clean Start:Fair Deal for Cleaners  is inspired by the successful U.S. campaign Justice for Janitors and has organised many new cleaners in CBD office blocks across Australia.
Governance & Structure
United Voice is a federation of state and territory branches. Each branch contributes financially to the national office.
The National Council is the highest decision making body in the union. It is made up of delegates from each Branch of the union, and each section within those Branches. Half of National Council’s membership is rank and file members. National Council meets in August each year. The Executive carries out the decisions of the Council.
The National Executive is the national management committee of United Voice. National Executive meets at least twice per year, but usually around four times. Members of National executive are elected to their positions, and there are rules for proper representation of membership sections and gender. The National Secretary are elected officers of the Union who work as the chief executives and operational managers of the National Union. The National Presidents are also elected officers whose role is to chair the Council and Executive meetings.
Louise Tarrant is the National Secretary of United Voice, having been elected in the role in 2007 shortly before Labor was elected to power.
State and Territory Branches
Each state and territory has its own United Voice Branch, with roughly the same structure as the national office. Each branch has a Branch Council and a Branch Executive.
State and Territory Branch Secretaries -
- ACT: Lyndal Ryan
- QLD: Gary Bullock
- NSW: Mark Boyd
- NT: Matthew Gardiner
- TAS: Helen Gibbons
- VIC: Jess Walsh
- WA: Carolyn Smith
- SA: David Di Troia
SmokeFree Australia http://www.ashaust.org.au
United Voice is affiliated with the Australian Labor Party and the Australian Council of Trade Unions. It is also a member of various other not-for-profit organisations such as the Sydney Alliance.
United Voice is affiliated with the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Association.
United Voice is running a national campaign to increase the wages of child care workers also known as early childhood education and care (ECEC). They have called on the federal government to give childcare centres $1.4 billion in extra funding to increase staff wages without increasing fees for parents. They want the average wage to increase from $18.58 an hour to $26.
In 2006, United Voice members launched the Clean Start: Fair Deal for Cleaners campaign to highlight the problems in the CBD office cleaning industry and improve jobs for cleaners. The campaign is focussing on four main goals:
- Fair and safe workloads
- Respect and fair treatment at work
- Job security
- Higher wages
Unions for Marriage Equality
In September 2011, United Voice joined with many other unions to campaign for marriage equality. The campaign was timed to start a few months before the ALP National Conference in December of that year.
- Explanation of the name change
- Australian Council of Trade Unions
- NSW Branch Website
- WA Branch Facebook Page
- United Voice National Website
- Vice President Watson (15 February 2011). "Application for change of name of organisation". Fair Work Australia Decision. Fair Work Australia. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
- Sheil, Christopher (September 1991). "The Origins of Unions: Some Miscellaneous Sydney Workers in 1910". Journal of Industrial Relations. 3 33: 295–307.
- Beasley, Margo (1996). The Missos: A History of the Federated Miscellaneous Workers Union. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86373-649-2.
- Smith, Bruce (6 August 2010). "Federated Miscellaneous Workers Union of Australia". Australian Trade Union Archives. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
- "History". United Voice. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
- "Clean Start: Fair Deal for Cleaners". United Voice. 2011. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
- "Making their Mark". Lumen Winter 2005 Issue. University of Adelaide Magazine. 2011. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
- Mark Butler. "About Mark". Mark Butler MP: Federal Member for Port Adelaide. Australian Labor Party. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
- "Louise Tarrant Interview Part 1". World News. Retrieved 2012-10-19.
- "Dozens of Westfield cleaners underpaid". The Herald Sun. Retrieved 2012-10-19.
- Sydney Alliance. "Partners". Sydney Alliance. Sydney Alliance. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- IUF. "IUF affiliates". IUF. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
- "Childcare workers launch ad for better pay". The Herald Sun. Retrieved 2012-10-19.
- "About - Big Steps". Big Steps. Retrieved 2012-10-19.
- "About". Clean Start. Retrieved 2012-10-19.
- "Unions campaign for marriage equality". Star Online. Retrieved 2012-10-19.