Australian Council of Trade Unions

When union delegates gathered in the Victorian Trades Hall in 1927 to establish the Australian Council of Trade Unions they had a clear vision - to lift the living standards and quality of working life of working people.

And their strategy to achieve this was also clear – to build union organisation of the workforce on a national basis.

More than 80 years on the industrial gains of the Australian Trade Union Movement are many: decades of wage increases through the award system and campaigns in the field, safer workplaces, equality for women, improvements in working hours, entitlements to paid holidays and better employment conditions, and the establishment of a universal superannuation system.

The ACTU also represented Australian unionism in the international arena, opposing discrimination and oppression and supporting human rights. The ACTU aid agency, APHEDA – Union Aid Abroad, contributes to humanitarian projects in many countries.

The enduring commitment of working Australians to a fairer society is reflected in the continuing fight to protect the fundamental principles of unionism.

The right to organise and the right to collectively bargain sit at the heart of the 21st century struggle for a just Australia, just as it did throughout the previous century.

State and Territory Labour Councils

Each State and Territory in Australia has a local labour council which brings together unions in that state or territory.

New South Wales
South Australia
Western Australia