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UnionsWA is the peak Trades and Labour Council in Western Australia.

Name changes[edit]

In April 2000, the Trades & Labor Council of Western Australia became simply UnionsWA, to coincide with the consolidation of various union based operations within Western Australia and the opening of "Unity House" on May Day, 2000.

1891 - The Trades & Labor Council, Perth was formed in 1891 and operated as such until 1907 when it re-emerged as the Western Australian Branch of the Australian Labour Federation.

1927 - Twenty years later, in 1927, it was operating as the Australian Labor Party (WA).

1947 - It continued in this guise for another twenty years when, in 1947, the name was changed once more, this time to the Trade Unions Industrial Council (ALP, WA) to more accurately delineate its trade union role from the political motives of the labour movement.

1963 - The Trade Unions Industrial Council (ALP, WA) was deregistered and the Trades & Labor Council of Western Australia was formed to fill the void.

Although still acknowledged today as the Trades & Labor Council of Western Australia, an increasing association with 'white collar' unions had, by 2000, deemed this old title unreflective of all affiliated unions.

2000 - the Trades & Labor Council became UnionsWA to more adequately encompass both white and blue collar unions.

2013 - trading name becomes UnionsWA Inc.


UnionsWA is the state's peak union body representing over 30 affiliated unions and their members. Delegates meet monthly to consider issues affecting the working conditions of Western Australians and determine strategies to improve them. The offices of Unions WA are located at 445 Hay Street, Perth. UnionsWA is both the supreme governing body of the trade union movement in Western Australia and the Western Australian Branch of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU).

The present office holders are

Secretary: Meredith Hammat

Assistant Secretary: Owen Whittle

President: Steve McCartney (Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union)

Senior Vice-President: Carolyn Smith (United Voice)

See also[edit]

Union strength comes from collective bargaining, which inevitably has more weight than individual negotiation. In an environment of many challenges, contemporary unions work to ensure accountability to their members, compliance with legal and financial requirements, and democracy in decision-making, to ensure effectiveness in bargaining.

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Layman, Lenore.(and Julian Goddard ; with the assistance of Wendy Wise and Robin Ho) (1988) Organise! : a visual record of the labour movement in Western Australia East Perth, W.A : Trades and Labor Council of W.A ISBN 0-909791-56-2
  • Oliver, Bobbie, (2003) Unity is strength : a history of the Australian Labor Party and the Trades and Labor Council in Western Australia, 1899-1999 Perth WA : API Network, Australia Research Institute, Curtin University. ISBN 1-920845-01-1