Workers Online
Workers Online
Workers Online
  Issue No 27 Official Organ of LaborNet 20 August 1999  

 --

 --

 --

History

Australian Unions and Industrial Action 1788-1900


A project is under way to compile a comprehensive record of unions, informal worker organisation and strikes from the period of European settlement to 1900 using a specially designed computer database.

The database includes a file on each union or instance of worker organisation as well as industrial action, court litigation and political lobbying they became involved in. So far the database contains records of more than 2,200 unions and informal worker alliance and it is expected that the figure will exceed 6,000 when completed.

According to the chief investigator, Professor Michael Quinlan of the University of New Wales, informal alliances of workers were important but have often been overlooked by labour historians. Most strikes before 1860 did not involve a union and the same applied to some very large disputes after this date such as a revolt by navvies building the South East Queensland railway in 1866. Further, many unions formed during the 19th century survived only a short period, indicating the difficulty of building a cohesively organised labour

movement. On the other hand, by 1890 the Australian union movement had a combined membership of over 150,000 and could claim to be perhaps the most strongly organised union movement in the world at that time.

Professor Quinlan said the database should provide insights into Australian unions that are relevant to the current difficult climate. The database will form the basis for a book on union and worker organisation in Australia. It is also planned to eventually put the database on CD ROM format so that it can made available to unions and libraries. The software and technical support for the database was undertaken by Peter Akers (formerly of Griffith University). Peter has built the database in a way that makes it comparatively easy to use. This will obviously benefit unionists and others who may wish to use it in the future.


------

*    Contact history editor, Dr Lucy Taksa

*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 27 contents

In this issue
Features
*  Interview: Stepping Up To The Plate
ACTU secretary-in-waiting Greg Combet talks about his report on international trade union trends and the need to adapt for the future.
*
*  Work/Time/Life: The Good Type of Wharf Security
The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has locked in better job security for casuals as part of its collective agreement with P&O Ports.
*
*  International: Venezuela Warned By Global Labour Group
Venezuela's new Constituent Assembly has drafted a decree providing for the dissolution of the country's national trade union organisation, the CTV.
*
*  Legal: Politically Motivated Case Against Unionist Fails
A politically motivated extortion case against Eric Wicker, a long-time trade unionist on the Port Kembla waterfront has failed.
*
*  Republic: Direct Election Republicans who say YES Ö and MORE!
Despairing at the sight of Ted Mack and Phil Cleary fronting for Kerry Jones and the Australians for A Constitutional Monarchy? Appalled at the disastrous strategy and paralysis of the Australian Republican Movement? A significant group of Republicans has an answer for you!
*
*  Unions: Technology for the Times
New technology offers exciting opportunities which help union growth, according to this extract from [email protected]
*
*  History: Australian Unions and Industrial Action 1788-1900
A project is under way to compile a comprehensive record of unions, informal worker organisation and strikes from the period of European settlement to 1900 using a specially designed computer database.
*
*  Review: Stage Left! - Workers Theatre Hits the Mark
'Rare' is the word on the Melbourne Workers Theatre production, 'Who's Afraid of the Working Class?' currently touring the eastern states of Australia.
*
*  Satire: Australia's Most Earnest
Strewth magazine scours the cultural landscape for its inaugural Earnest Bastard of the Year Award.
*

News
»  Combetís Call - Double Effort Needed Now
*
»  Rally or Surf Party? Itís the Workersí Call
*
»  Vizard Agenda Analysed
*
»  Truckies Face Another Oakdale
*
»  Former Union Leader to Investigate SOCOG Uniforms
*
»  Second Steggles Mum Wins Job Back
*
»  Strip Leads to Fair Wear Win
*
»  Rail Security: Scully Cuts Staff as Assaults Rise
*
»  Civil Libertarian Support Sought Against "Big Brother"
*
»  Dita Sari takes Sydney by Storm.
*

Columns
»  Guest Report
*
»  Sport
*
»  Trades Hall
*
»  Piers Watch
*

Letters to the editor
»  Thanks for Einstein
*
»  A Non-Unionist's Sympathy
*
»  A Mexican on Piers
*
»  Group Homes Claims Disputed
*
»  Rallying Cries
*
»  Security Overload
*

What you can do

Notice Board
- Check out the latest events

Latest Issue

View entire latest issue
- print all of the articles!

Previous Issues

Subject index

Search all issues

Enter keyword(s):
  


Workers Online - 2nd place Labourstart website of the year


BossWatch


Wobbly Radio



[ Home ][ Notice Board ][ Search ][ Previous Issues ][ Latest Issue ]

© 1999-2000 Labor Council of NSW

LaborNET is a resource for the labour movement provided by the Labor Council of NSW

URL: http://workers.labor.net.au/27/c_historicalfeature_quin.html
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005

[ Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Credits ]

LaborNET is proudly created, designed and programmed by Social Change Online for the Labor Council of NSW

 *LaborNET*

 Labor Council of NSW

[Workers Online]

[Social Change Online]