Sources on Queensland Labour History

The April 1984 newsletter of the Australian Studies Centre at the University of Queensland contains some interesting. information about recent acquisitions of archival material relevant to Queensland labour history by the Fryer Library. These are the records of the Trades and Labour Council (Queensland) and the Federated Engine and Firemen’s Association (Queensland branch). The Australian Studies Centre bulletin reports:

The bulk of the FEDFA records are of recent origin (1950-1980). Union officials believe that all earlier records were discarded some time. ago. The Library is presently listing the record series and some records dating from 1912 have been noted. It is hoped that by the time the listing has been completed more early records will have come to light. Details about the record series will be included in the next ASC newsletter.

The records of the Queensland Trades and Labour Council are undoubtedly one of the most valuable collections of research materials to be deposited with the University of Queensland. Significant record series include:

  • Trades and Labour Council. Minutes. 1932-1969. Industrial Committee Combined Unions. Minutes. 1914-1916.
  • Industrial Committee. Minutes. 1914-1916, 1922-1935.
  • Eight Hour Anniversary Union. Minutes 1887-1891, letterbook 1888-1894, cashbook 1889-1933.
  • Labour Day Celebration Committee. Minutes. 1922 1972. .
  • Workers Educational Association. Papers. 1922 1949.
  • Trades Hall Council. Board of P.lanagement. Minutes 1911-1935, letterbook 1920-1924.
  • Trade Union Congress. Agendas, minutes, decisions 1950-1970, correspondence 1950?-1960?.
  • ACTU Congress. Agendas, executive reports, decisions, 1949-1971.
  • ACTU Correspondence 1949-1973, circulars 1957 1976.
  • ACTU Interstate Executive. Minutes. 1937-1972.
  • Affiliated Union Correspondence (dates not yet established).

Subject files containing correspondence, memoranda, and reports relating to disputes and other industrial issues are included. Special files include those on the strike at Mt. Isa Mines and the Queensland Pastoral Dispute. Submissions, applications, transcripts and judgements from the Industrial Court of Queensland, Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration CODm1ission of Queensland, Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission and the State Industrial Commission (1950-1970) are also to be found in the records.

The collection contains a set of The Organiser: official metropolitan organ of the Queensland Unemployed and Relief Workers’ State Council. 1937-39. A good collection of rulebooks of unions and provincial Trades and Labour Councils have also been received as part of the records.

(For permission to reprint this information the Hummer is grateful to Dr. Paul Reynolds, Director of the Australian Studies Centre.)