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Minute Books of Pre-Federation Australian Trade Unions

The Minute Books of Pre-Federation Australian Trade Unions, in the collections of twelve institutions record collective decision-making by Australian workers in the nineteenth-century. They are a record of democracy for workers – both men and women. They document the early formulation of our current industrial relations system, the beginnings of our social welfare system, the early history of communities and industries, and working lives that are no longer accessible today. They record events and achievements as they happened, local issues and disputes that developed into general strikes and became the first steps in broader campaigns such as that for the 8-Hour Day and the impetus for political representation of workers through the formation of the Australian Labor Party.

This digital collection is provided for research purposes only and must not be reproduced without the prior permission of the Archives Program, Australian National University.

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