AWU HISTORY

AUSTRALIAN WORKERS UNION | SA BRANCH

AWU HISTORY

The Australian Workers’ Union is a federation of state, regional and industry based branches. It represents more than 100,000 members across Australia in a diverse range of industries. It is Australia’s oldest General union.

The Australian Workers’ Union is a federation of state, regional and industry based branches. It represents more than 100,000 members across Australia in a diverse range of industries. It is Australia’s oldest General union.

The AWU was formed in 1886 as the Amalgamated Shearers Union, and quickly grew to represent shearers across New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. The Queensland Shearers Union formed in 1887.

By 1894 the Australian Workers’ Union was formed and advanced the struggle to cope with the conditions of the 1890s. Gradually, the AWU grew as the colonies recovered.

Federation in 1901 brought a Commonwealth Industrial Relations system. The AWU was the first union to secure a federal award under the newly formed conciliation and arbitration system the Pastoral Industry Award, with this award, the AWU was able to ensure that workers, not just bosses, had a say in setting pay rates and workplace conditions.

Today, the AWU represents working Australians from all walks of life. The AWU has coverage of workers ranging from hairdressers to rabbit trappers. Our members build railways, work in underground mines, they mill paper and make roads. They also farm fish and grow tobacco. Some of the major industries in which our members work include: pastoral and agricultural; manufacturing; aluminum; aviation; oil and gas; mining; construction and steel.

The   AWU’s  history   is   as   rich   and   complex  as  the  industries  it represents.

The Australian Workers’ Union is the nation’s oldest general union. It was also the platform from where the Australian Labor Party was born.

The union is a blue-collar union. It represents workers in many industries, just some of them include aviation, civil construction, oil and gas, mining and manufacturing.

The AWU is dedicated to protecting and fighting for the rights of workers and representing their interests including wages and conditions, safety in the workplace and securing entitlements.

The AWU is one of Australia’s top 10 biggest unions and it is represented in all states.

It is also Australia’s largest union covering private sector employees outside Australia’s major cities.