2001 ASSLH conference – The formation and role of an independent trades and labor council in Western Australia: A case study

Bobbie Oliver
Teaching and Research Fellow, Research Institute for Cultural Heritage, Curtin University


This paper argues that adopting the Australian Labor Federation model, with the political and industrial wings in one organisation, made the labour movement in Western Australia significantly different from its counterparts in the eastern states of Australia. The paper outlines the development of the Australian Labor Federation (WA)— subsequently the ALP (WA)—over 60 years. It discusses the changes brought about by the formation of an independent Trades and Labor Council (TLC) in 1963, and the WA movement’s relationship with the Australian Council of Trade Unions during this time. The paper concludes that, even after the formation of the TLC, the labour movement in the West has retained its particular, independent identity and that its relationship with the ACTU has not been a smooth one.


Apart from the isolated attempts of early radicals, the labour movement proper developed in Western Australia much later than in the eastern colonies, and was dependent for its formation on men and women from the eastern Australian colonies, New Zealand or the British Isles. They were mostly skilled trades people—carpenters, building workers, railway employees and printers—who arrived in Western Australia in the 1880s and 1890s. Coming at a time when the eastern colonies were suffering an economic depression, the 1890s gold rushes brought many reformers to the West. The tone of employment relations in the colony was set by the Master and Servant Act of 1842. Under this Act, a servant could be charged with breach of contract and sentenced to three months in prison for such activities as going on strike. Despite this, unions and Trades and Labor Councils formed in Perth and on the Eastern Goldfields from the 1880s. In December 1900, a Conspiracy and Protection of Property Act legalising trade union activities was passed, together with legislation to establish the Arbitration Court. The Trades Union Regulation Act of February 1902 enabled unions to register under the arbitration bill. The labour movement’s development was further helped by electoral reforms, including the payment of Members of the Legislative Assembly and the redistribution of seats on a popular basis; compulsory arbitration and adult suffrage, and the establishment of the Arbitration Court (1901). The positive effect of these reforms was quickly evident. The Labor Party in WA returned four Federal and six State parliamentarians in elections in 1901. Trade union membership increased from around 9,000 in 1901 to just over 31,000 in 1911.1

But the factor that made the WA labour movement unique for over half a century, was the adoption of the Australian Labor Federation (ALF) model. This model had failed in the eastern states in the 1890s—although trade unions were affiliated with the ALP, and it is worth noting the ongoing close and successful relationship that existed between the NSW Labor Council and the NSW branch of the ALP.2 The 1905 Trades Union and Labor Congress in Perth adopted a Constitution for the Political Labor Party of Western Australia, which would consist of “all unionists and other adult persons who subscribe to the Rules and Platform of the Party”.3 The political and industrial wings were formally combined in 1907, and renamed the WA Division of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) in 1919. The body consisted of a policy-making General Council, a State Executive, and up to ten District Councils made up of delegates from the unions and political branches of the Party within each district. Between Congresses, authority was vested in the State Executive, composed of delegates from the District Councils and office bearers elected by the rank and file.4

While the joint industrial-political structure of the ALF was unique, the local movement had many features in common with the eastern states branches of the ALP, and shared many of their conflicts. Policy was decided at the annual State Congress; the State Labor platform did not differ markedly from the Federal platform, and Federal ALP members were also members of the State body and took part in its Congresses and committees. Arguments over conscription for military service overseas during World War I caused the first major division within WA Labor’s ranks. Apart from the six Federal and eleven State parliamentarians, including Premier Jack Scaddan, who were expelled from the Party in Western Australia, the unions and the District Councils were divided. When, in 1917, Prime Minister WM Hughes replaced striking waterside workers with a National Waterside Workers Union (NWWU), he created a system of “bogus” unions that spread from the wharves into other areas such as mining. The Fremantle Lumpers’ Union (FLU) capitulated after a 14-week strike and went back to work in competition with the NWWU.5 For the next 18 months, FLU members’ earnings averaged 25 shillings a week and many families went hungry. The 4 May 1919 riot reinstated the FLU as the principal union on the Fremantle Wharves. In November 1919, a similar dispute flared on the Eastern Goldfields between the AWU Miners Division and members of the Federated Miners Union (another bogus “National” union).6

The One Big Union (OBU) movement also caused dissension in Labor ranks. The movement, which was first propounded by eastern States militants such as Jock Garden, Secretary of the Labor Council of New South Wales, fed upon post-World War I industrial unrest and disillusionment with the Arbitration Court. In Western Australia, OBU supporters soon clashed with AWU members over the aims and methods of the new super union. In 1924, the Federal Arbitration Court refused to register the new Australasian Workers’ Union—a title adopted to replace its earlier name, the “Workers’ Industrial Union”—and the OBU movement seemed to have disappeared.7

The State Labor Party returned to government in 1924. Arbitration Court reform, embodied in the new Industrial Arbitration Act that the Collier Labor Government passed in 1925, and the introduction of preference to members of specific unions resulted in successive Labor governments retaining union support. Between 1924 and 1947, the State ALP was out of office only from 1930 to 1933, during the worst years of the Depression. Late in the 1920s, the structure of the ALP (WA Branch) was so successful that some Federal Members of Parliament began advocating its adoption across Australia. At the 1927 Federal Conference in Canberra, the delegates resolved to place before the various Trades and Labor Councils and ALP branches a draft proposal to adopt the Western Australian model.8 But the move was unsuccessful, possibly because of the arrival of a new player. Supporters of the defunct OBU movement convened an All-Australian Trade Union Congress. Two previous Congresses had been held, but the 1927 Congress is particularly significant because a motion was carried unanimously to found “a permanent central trade union body” to “deal with all matters of industrial concern” affecting workers.9 Thus a new national peak body, the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), was formed in 1927.

Politically, the ACTU was militant, and (like the OBU) was at odds with the philosophy of Australia’s biggest union, the AWU, which by 1928 had a nationwide membership of 160,000—or one-sixth of all trade unionists. In Western Australia, 9,200 of the State’s 52,600 unionists held AWU tickets.10 The AWU was immediately hostile to the ACTU. According to Henry Boote, in the Australian Worker, the ACTU had no authority to speak for organised workers in Australia, for it represented only a “small minority of unions” and was not an Australian institution. This conclusion was based on the ACTU’s connection with the Pan-Pacific Secretariat, which made it “a branch of an organisation not only foreign in the geographical sense but utterly alien in every way to the sentiments, objectives and ideals of the people of this country”. Boote accused the ACTU of borrowing tactics of organisation from Moscow and of “pledging itself to undermine the faith of the Australian working class in constitutional action for the redress of their grievances”.11 Both Queensland and Western Australia initially refused to affiliate with the new body, although Queensland joined soon after.12

Yet Western Australia was not unanimous in rejecting affiliation. The Midland District Council believed that “to be unaffiliated with other states on industrial matters would be a source of very great weakness to the trade union movement”. The Eastern Goldfields, however, opposed affiliation in the belief that the ALP State Executive should continue “to be the controlling body…for both the industrial and political movements in this state”. Likewise, individual unions varied in their response, with the conservative Shop Assistants opposing affiliation, while others, such as the Coachbuilders, stated that they were “not unfavourable”.13 After Labor failed to gain government in the 1928 Federal election, H Gibson, Secretary of the Federated Engine Drivers and Firemen’s Association, again raised the matter.

It is almost a calamity from the viewpoint of our movement that Western Australia has latterly held aloof from all the principal activities in the eastern states that [sic] on more than one occasion the Western delegates could have materially altered the aspect of affairs by their presence… The Victorian delegates want your cooperation and help to combat the Communist viewpoint. WA will not be financially disadvantaged.14

But ALP State Secretary Ernie Barker saw the ACTU as rivalling the power of the State Executive and splitting the organisation into separate industrial and political bodies. At the end of 1929, he reiterated to ACTU Secretary C. Crofts:

The Executive in this State is not affiliated with your Organisation, our objective being, if possible, to continue our present method of organisation by which both wings of the Labor movement are kept within one organisation.

We have found that this method has been the most successful and there is every indication on the part of the movement in this State to retain that method of organisation.15

This attitude was to prevail for another 30 years. Consequently, the labour movement in WA was isolated from mainstream trends occurring in the eastern states, and particularly in New South Wales—where it was the AWU that was marginalised, not the ACTU.16

In the aftermath of World War II, however, an ideological gap had begun to develop between the State Parliamentary Labor Party (SPLP), on one hand, and the State Executive and the District Councils on the other. This arose partly from growth in the membership strength of several militant industrial unions, and a decline in the AWU’s influence. The AWU’s representation had shrunk from over 33 per cent of the State ALP’s affiliated membership in 1921 to about 13 per cent in 1952. Conversely, industrial unions such as the Amalgamated Engineers, the Collie Miners, and the Waterside Workers’ Federation (WWF) WA Branch had increased in membership and militancy.17 Some of these unions were involved in a 16-day strike by Locomotive Engine Drivers in 1946, when the Wise Labor Government refused to accede to union demands to remove unsafe Garratt locomotives from service. The strike was economically disastrous for the state and had deep political ramifications. At the 1947 State election, many unions withdrew their support from the Labor government and it was defeated.18

The ALP State Executive responded to union militancy by tightening control over affiliates and District Councils. It disaffiliated individual members or bodies that joined or remained in such organisations as the Eureka Youth League, which it claimed were Communist Party (CPA) subsidiaries. In 1948, the ALP State Congress decided to alter Section 8 of the ALP Constitution and disaffiliate unions who appointed or retained non-ALP officials.19 For their part, the militant unions openly criticised the State Executive and were attracted to the ACTU, which still had no representative body in Western Australia. ACTU officials did not have to pledge allegiance to the ALP in order to represent their union at ACTU Interstate Congresses. The ACTU had grown increasingly militant during and after World War II, owing to the election of Communist union officials to Executive, although the organisation had cooperated closely with the Federal Labor Government’s strict wartime controls. In return, ACTU exercised limited influence over Government policy such as full employment. In the Arbitration Court, ACTU applications succeeded in obtaining improvements in working conditions, increased wages and shorter working hours for some State and Federal unionists.20

In 1947, six militant unions formed an independent WA Council of Trade Unions (WACTU), which soon had a membership of 33 unions representing many thousands of unionists. The WACTU applied to affiliate with the ACTU. But, at its Twentieth State Labor Congress in the same year, the ALP pre-empted this move by forming the WA Trades Unions Industrial Council (WATUIC), which the ACTU subsequently accepted as its representative body in the State.21 ALP State Secretary FE “Joe” Chamberlain was behind this move, as he strongly opposed the establishment of an independent TLC. Chamberlain was on the WATUIC Executive. WATUIC membership was strictly limited to industrial unions affiliated with the ALP, and delegates had to sign the ALP pledge before they were allowed to vote. Initially, the WATUIC’s Constitution stated that it had control—“under the State Executive”—of awards, industrial agreements and standard conditions, but was not to “interfere” with the autonomy of the District Councils or the industrial unions. It was empowered to appoint advocates to appear in the Arbitration Court on behalf of affiliated unions during the Basic Wage hearings and to recommend to the State Executive nominations for delegates to represent the Party at State or Federal industrial conferences.22

During the 1950s, there was considerable debate among WA unions and the WA branches of Federal unions about the anomalies in the State’s representation on the ACTU, and increasing pressure upon the ACTU Federal Executive to change the situation. Western Australia’s ACTU affiliation was due for renewal in 1959. The ACTU Federal Executive indicated that it might refuse re-affiliation unless an independent TLC was formed as the State’s affiliated body. At the ACTU’s 1959 Congress, Jim Healy, the WWF General Secretary, moved that the WA Branch of the ACTU be directed to carry out fully “the democratic principles of affiliation on which the ACTU itself and its other five branches operate” and make affiliation open to “any bona fide registered trade union or any Branch of a Federal Union operating within the State”. A Western Australian delegate, J White of the Painters’ and Decorators’ Union, seconded the motion, which was subsequently carried. Congress delegates were influenced by a letter, signed by the officials of 12 WA trade unions, supporting the proposal to establish an independent TLC.23

But the move was strongly resisted in Western Australia. Non-affiliated unions and union representatives who were not ALP members were excluded from a Special Congress of Unions convened to discuss the matter in Perth on 23 November 1959. A block of unions representing 27,000 members opposed the establishment of an independent TLC. The Congress voted against any structural change by 555 to 206. But others claimed that the officials representing the 27,000 were “a small group of people who never consulted their membership”.24 In February 1960, the TLC Campaign Committee—16 unions, with a combined membership of over 32,000 workers—was formed to implement the decision of the ACTU Congress. By now, four of the nine District Councils supported an independent TLC. The Committee’s manifesto stated that every bona fide trade union or branch of a federal union had “an inalienable right” to membership in a State TLC and to join the ACTU. No “majority vote” could deny that right. In Western Australia, “for political reasons”, unions and delegates were denied their fundamental rights to organise with their fellow unions.25

Eventually the State Executive yielded to the inevitable. By September 1962, the Committee—appointed by the Special General Council and chaired by Chamberlain—had drawn up and revised a Constitution and Rules for the Western Australian TLC, which still insisted on affiliation with the ALP as a requisite for membership. Furthermore, one of the four objects was “to promote and develop the closest possible relations between the Trade Union Movement and its political wing the Australian Labor Party”. Each affiliated union would be entitled to between one and six representatives, depending on the size of its membership. The proposed Constitution granted considerable powers to the Secretary and gave him a similar role to that of the ALP Secretary. The TLC Executive consisted of a President, two Vice Presidents, a Secretary, a Treasurer, three committee members and three Trustees, each to be elected for a one year period, except for the Secretary who would be elected for three years in the first instance, with an annual salary of £1750. If the Secretary were re-elected, he would become eligible to be a permanent officer of the Council, “subject to good conduct and proper application to duties”. In a departure from earlier Labor policy, the paid officer would not be expected to retire at the age of 65 years, but “have his position reviewed by the Council” which body was granted the power to determine whether he retired or continued in his position.26 With the abolition of the District Councils, an era ended in Western Australian labour history, with mixed benefits for the movement. Under the new constitution the trade unions were no longer branches of the party. The unions were free to conduct their own business without party interference, and union officials could represent their unions without being ALP members. Trade union participation in the Labor Party declined.27

During the transition period, from 1963 to 1966, unions still had to affiliate with the ALP before joining the TLC. The TLC elected an Executive Committee with a similar structure to that of the ALP State Executive, including a full-time, paid Secretary who was the TLC spokesperson. But the new structure impacted significantly on the union movement. The Council’s own leadership emerged independently of ALP influences and limitations. Unionists of all political persuasions could join the Executive, and thus the TLC developed “a more divergent political and ideological base”.28 Late in its first year, the TLC comprised 70 unions representing approximately 70,000 workers.29

Almost immediately, the new organisation felt the brunt of responsibility as a peak union body. The Brand Liberal- National Coalition Government introduced a Bill to abolish the Arbitration Court and the office of Conciliation Commissioner and replace them with an Industrial Commission and an Industrial Appeal Court. The proposed Act would also grant greater powers to the Minister for Labour to initiate proceedings that he perceived to be “in the public interest”, strip unions of power, restrict preference to unionists, and widen the provisions under which a worker might be exempt from joining a union. The TLC and the SPLP campaign opposing the legislation culminated in the State’s first general strike on 20 November 1963. About 34,000 workers took part around the State.30 Although the campaign did not prevent the legislation being passed, it established the TLC’s authority as the most representative industrial body in the State.31

From the mid-1960s, the TLC operated in a rapidly changing industrial climate. Because large deposits of minerals such as iron ore and nickel, which were in demand world wide, occurred in Western Australia, transnational companies, such as the Japanese Steel Corporation, entered mining partnerships with Australian-owned or operated companies including Broken Hill Proprietary (BHP) and Western Mining Corporation.32 Union officials warned their members against the “lure” of vast amounts of overtime. Workers often arrived on site to find that their take home pay was well below the advertised rate. To poor working conditions, primitive housing, poor sanitation, and extreme heat were added the safety hazards of operating heavy machinery while over-tired by long working hours and heat exhaustion.33 Transnational companies often preferred non-union and non-Australian labour, such as the indentured Japanese dredge operators who were employed on Port Hedland Harbour in 1967. WA trade unions saw this as a threat to their members’ working conditions and wage standards, and the AWU (an affiliate of the TLC) staged a stop work demonstration. The indentured workers were not unionists, nor were they immigrants. The TLC stressed that their objection was not to Japanese workers per se but to the practice of indenture.34

The union movement saw the need for greater industrial strength, yet memberships were declining. Unions might gain increased industrial muscle by cooperating with one another while retaining their autonomy or by the amalgamation of unions in related trades. These amalgamations created super unions such as the Maritime Workers Union of Western Australia (1969), and the Amalgamated Metal Workers Union (1971).35 Industrial unrest escalated. Transnationals required flexible work forces. Unions had long fought the tendency of employers to assign employees work for which they were not qualified. The apprenticeship system and over-award margins ensured a highly skilled—but not a highly flexible—work force. In contrast to a young, highly mobile and militant work force, the companies in the Pilbara were characterised by traditional attitudes towards labour, and wage negotiations were carried out through collective bargaining. TLC Secretary Peter Cook accused the companies of provoking disputes and industrial confrontation before major wage negotiations in order to maximise their own bargaining position. He described company attitudes as moralistic; few non-English speaking migrants and no Aboriginal people were allowed employment – except at Cape Lambert. Strikes over minor matters dissipated workers’ energy. Companies organised on a hierarchical basis, unions on a democratic basis; companies looked to union officials to direct their members, and State union officials were distrusted as they represented a compromise between what unionists wanted and what companies wanted. The recognition of these social and economic factors had led to a new approach in the organisation of the nickel mine at Agnew near Kalgoorlie where married couples were to be recruited, special training was to be introduced and there was to be an age group spread. This was a radical change from the situation in the Pilbara.36

By the late 1970s, the practice of collective bargaining was common. The workers would draw up a log of claims. Senior shop stewards, or convenors, from all of the company’s sites would meet to discuss the claims and compile a composite log, which they would then discuss with their union officials before a final version was served upon the company. After the company had examined the new claims, a process of bargaining and negotiation followed until each side was satisfied or a compromise achieved, enabling a new agreement to be set.37 But the process did not prevent strikes.

The 1980s saw a dramatic change in the relationship between the ACTU and the Federal ALP. At its 1981 National Conference, the ALP replaced its traditional socialist platform with values reflecting equality, democracy, liberty and social cooperation, and forged an alliance with the ACTU. Whereas previously (even during World War II), the ACTU had maintained an independence from the ALP, the Executive now issued a joint statement with the Party, committing trade unions to a policy of wage restraint and industrial harmony. This policy was the Prices and Incomes Accord (or “the Accord”). Its purpose was to avoid a dramatic rise in wages, which was predicted after the wage freeze of the Fraser administration was lifted. Thus, when the ALP came to power in 1983, Fraser’s wage freeze was replaced with a form of wage indexations in which unions were expected to moderate their wage demands so that they did not exceed rises in the cost of living.38 The image of harmony and industrial peace generated by the Accord also assisted the ALP to win the 1983 Western Australian election.39 After the stormy industrial disputes of the Court and O’Connor years, the TLC welcomed Labor’s return to government in 1983. The Burke Government attempted to emulate the Accord to some extent, but a harmonious relationship did not result.

The State Government set up a Labor Tripartite Council, which met regularly to discuss industrial matters. The system of tripartite (employer-employee-government) negotiations was part of a new framework for industrial relations that included a much-needed rewriting of the Industrial Arbitration Act, and the establishment of the Occupational Health and Safety Commission, whose members included TLC representatives. Nevertheless, industrial conflict flared when the Burke administration cut the public service work force and abolished several government agencies.40 Increasingly, too, the TLC resisted the constraints imposed by the Accord. Throughout the latter 1980s and into the 1990s, the TLC’s relationship with the ACTU became strained and members of the Executive expressed dissatisfaction with the direction of the ACTU leadership.41 This was largely because of the ACTU’s perceived lack of support for unionists in the long-running Robe River dispute. The dispute appeared to resolved in January 1987—despite the workers initially rejecting a package offered by ACTU President Simon Crean42—but it flared again in 1988 when the company, Peko Wallsend appealed an Industrial Commission decision to grant the workers a 4 per cent rise in wages and superannuation. The TLC believed that Peko Wallsend was using Robe River as “a vanguard for implementing the industrial relations policies of the New Right”. They called for contributions to a fund to campaign to combat this move.43 The TLC was discouraged and embittered by the lack of support for the campaign, both locally and from the ACTU.44

Robe River was one of several industrial disputes that broke out around Australia in the late 1980s, indicating that the Accord could no longer contain the disaffection felt by militants of both the Left and the Right.45 In 1991, the ACTU further distanced itself some of its membership by implementing a system of enterprise bargaining to replace the failing two-tier wages system of Accord Mark III. The TLCWA and many WA unions received the news with astonishment. A common attitude was that the ACTU had “sold out” the union movement and the rift widened.46

What brought the TLCWA back into the ACTU fold was the emergence of a powerful, common, traditional enemy. The Liberal-National Coalition, led by Richard Court, returned to government in 1993, and Federally, the Coalition, led by John Howard achieved victory in 1996. During its first three years, the Court Government introduced a series of amendments to the existing industrial legislation, which would dismantle the existing system and virtually destroy the influence of unions upon the workplace. Known as the First, Second and Third Waves the new legislation replaced existing award structures and centralised bargaining with individual work place agreements. Instead of unions acting on behalf of their members in wage negotiations, employees under the Workplace Agreements Legislation were encouraged to negotiate directly with their employers. These amendments were fought by a massive protest campaign of industrial action including strikes, saturation advertising and public education. On 29 April 1997, an estimated 30,000 people marched from the city to Parliament House.

Speakers included ACTU President, Jennie George, who gave strong support to the campaign. Further support by officials Tim Pallas, Greg Combet and Sharan Burrow and their ability to work with State Secretary Tony Cooke and other members of the TLC leadership during the campaign healed the rift.47 The ACTU leadership now realised the significance of the Court reforms as a forerunner of Federal industrial legislation. This became more evident during the “War on the Waterfront” in 1998. The leadership of the TLC (WA) and the ACTU again cooperated during the anti- union campaign launched by the Howard Federal Government against the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) in 1998. Members of the ACTU Executive visited the docks and worked alongside union and TLC officials in each State to achieve a settlement.48

In working together during the great industrial campaigns of the 1990s, however, the leadership of the ACTU and the TLC (WA) developed a mutual respect. The turn of the century brought changes. In 2000, the TLC moved to more spacious offices in Stirling Street, Perth, in the re-named Unity House, reflecting the body’s new title, Unions WA. Greg Combet became the first ACTU Secretary to address the TLC in Western Australia, indicating an on-going commitment to cordial relations between the two bodies.


The organised labour movement in Western Australia has retained an independent identity throughout its existence. This identity was formed by the late emergence of the labour movement in the West and its dominance by the conservative AWU until after World War II. Isolated by its unique formation and its rejection of affiliation with the ACTU, the movement found that, even after forming a Trades and Labour Council, its relationship with the ACTU was often distant and sometimes strained.

To this was added the complexity of swiftly changing industrial conditions and shifting relationships between the State and Federal branches of the ALP, the TLC and the ACTU. The savage industrial “reforms” enacted by the Court Government (1993-2001) and the Howard Government from 1996—coming on top of steadily declining numbers of unionists in the workforce—has caused the union movement to reconsider the validity of the old motto “Unity is Strength”. It has also had to consider public perceptions. While it had long been concluded that a capitalist-owned press generated most of the negative attitudes towards unions, there is now agreement that these views need to be addressed and that unions need to “push their cause [more] effectively”.49 The success of a new State Labor Government at the Western Australian election in February 2001 has created a climate where this promotion is at least possible. It will be interesting to see if it results in a stronger union movement, with continued cooperation between the local body and the ACTU.



1 B. Oliver, War and Peace in Western Australia. The social and political impact of the Great War, 1914-1926, UWA Press, Nedlands, 1995, pp. 48, 50; I. H. vanden Driesen, “The Evolution of the Trade Union Movement in Western Australia” in C.T. Stannage, (ed.), A New History of Western Australia, UWA Press, Nedlands, 1981, pp. 370-374.
2 Ray Markey, “Reflecting on the History of the Labor Council of New South Wales: An Institution and a Movement”, in E. Palmer, R. Shanahan and M. Shanahan, (eds), Australian Labour History Reconsidered, Australian Humanities Press, Adelaide, 1999, p. 222 ff; also Ross McMullin, The Light on the Hill. The Australian Labor Party 1891-1901, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1991, p. 37.
3 Australian Labor Federation, Fifth Trades Union and Labor Congress, Perth, 8-15 July 1905, pp. 19-20.
4 W. Somerville, “An Economic History of Western Australia with Special Reference to Trade Unions and the Influence of the Industrial Court of Arbitration”, Battye Library (BL), Accession no. 451A, vol. II., pp. 460-463.
5 Annual Report of the Fremantle ALF Executive, 1917, p. 2.
6 B. Oliver, Unity is Strength. A history of the organised labour movement in Western Australia, forthcoming, 2001, chapter 3.
7 Oliver, War and Peace in Western Australia. pp. 189-198.
8 J.J. Kenneally, L. McDonald and D.L. McNamara, “Explanatory Memorandum to the Workers of Australia” in Proposals for the Better Consolidation of the Australian Labor Party, pp. 4-5, in ALP Papers, BL Accession no. MN 300, State Executive Correspondence (SEC) 1688A/321.
9 Jim Hagan, The History of the ACTU, Longman Cheshire Pty Ltd., Melbourne, p. 44.
10 See AWU to Barker, 14 July 1927, SEC 1688A/293, for AWU affiliation and membership figures; also S. Macintyre, The Oxford History of Australia, vol. 4, 1901-1942: The succeeding age, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, p. 234, and G. Withers, A.M. Endres & L. Perry, “Labour”, Table LAB 209-226 in W. Vamplew, ed. Australians. Historical Statistics, Melbourne, Fairfax, Syme & Weldon, 1988, p. 162.
11 The Australian Worker (Sydney), 4 July 1928.
12 See correspondence between Barker and C. Crofts (ACTU Secretary), SEC 1688A/296; also Hagan, p. 83; Macintyre, The Oxford History of Australia, p. 234.
13 Relevant correspondence in SE 1688A/296.
14 Gibson to Barker, 21 November 1928 in ibid.
15 Barker to Crofts, 16 December 1929, in ibid.
16 M. Hearn & H. Knowles, One Big Union. A history of the Australian Workers’ Union 1886-1994, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1996, p 138.
17 For 1919-21 union membership figures, see SEC 1688A/155, 315 and 385.
18 Report by T.G. Davies, Campaign Director, in ALP Fremantle District Council Papers, BL Accession no. 1802/63.
19 SEC 2890A/50.
20 Hagan, pp. 111 ff, 181.
21 SEC 1719A/2; B. Love, “Communist Party Industrial Activity in the post-war years 1945-1953 in Western Australia” in Papers in Labour History
No. 17, December 1996 , pp. 19-45.
22 TUIC Constitution.
23 F.E. Chamberlain, address pp. 7-9 in SEC 2890A/17.
24 Lippiatt to Secretary, Electrical Trades Union, 15 February 1960, and South Western District Council to State Executive, 16 January 1960 in ibid.
25 West Australian, 21 March 1960.
26 “Proposed Constitution and Rules of the Western Australian Trades and Labor Council” in SEC 2890A/17.
27 S. Macintyre, Militant. The life and times of Paddy Troy, Allen & Unwin, St. Leonards, 1984, p. 178.
28 S. Sassine, “A Study of the Authority of a Trade Union Centre: the TLC of Western Australia, 1963-1981”. PhD., UWA, 1985, p. 94.
29 Ibid, p. 110.
30 WAPD, Vol. 165, 1963, especially pp. 2269 ff; also Sassine, pp. 103-107.
31 Sassine, pp. 114-127; Don Cooley, “Memories of my life as a Trade Union Official” in M. Hess, ed., Papers in Labour History, No. 3, pp. 40-42.
32 Kosmas Tsokhas, Beyond Dependence. Companies, Labour Processes and Australian Mining, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1986, pp. 18-26, 149.
33 See, for example, J. Bevan, The Boilermaker, September 1965.
34 Sassine, pp. 181-190; Cooley, p. 53.
35 Report dated “March 1970” and “Annual Report for 1969 of the Secretary of the SPD” in the Seamen’s Union of Australia Papers, Noel Butlin Archives Accession no., Z435, Box 1; The Boilermakers’ and Blacksmiths’ Journal, March 1971; AEU Monthly Journal, February 1971. Through further amalgamations , these unions subsequently became the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU).
36 “ANU Australia-Japan Research Project Industrial Relations Workshops Report of a discussion held on 22 November 1976”, p. 3, in TLC Papers Box 80, file no. 102.
37 Sassine, p. 405.
38 Paul Kelly, The end of certainty. The story of the 1980s, St. Leonard’s: Allen & Unwin, 1992, pp. 60 ff.
39 R.A. Graham, “The Consensus Legacy: The Burke Government and the Trade Union Movement: 1983-1987”, in P. Bertola, ed., Papers in Labour History, No. 17, December, 1996, p. 70.
 40 Cabinet Record. Burke Government, 1 August, 31 October 1983.
41 Author’s conversation with A.J. “Tony” Cooke (TLCWA State Secretary) and Stephanie Mayman (Assistant State Secretary), 27 November 2000.
42 David Black, Political Chronicle, 1987, in the Australian Journal of Politics and History[hereafter AJPH], vol. 33, p. 293.
43 Press statement 10 June 1988, and Circular 187/1988 in TLC Papers, file 67, 1988.
44 Taylor to Brown, 8 November 1991, in Trades and Labor Council Papers, (TLC Papers), Battye Library Accession no. 4442A, file 69, 1989.
45 Kelly, The end of certainty, p. 255.
46 Conversation with Cooke and Mayman; also Kelly, pp. 669-670.
47 Conversation with Cooke and Mayman.
48 MUA’s web page <http://mua.tlp.net.au>.
49 Kristen Berger, “Unions, popular culture and the media”, in TLC WA 1999 Directory & Resource Digest, pp. 31-32