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Trade Union entry Australian Commonwealth Post & Telegraph Officers Association (1912 - 1917)

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    Chart 8: Trade Unions - Communications and Electrical

Trade Union (Federal)
Reference No


The Australian Commonwealth Post & Telegraph Officers' Association was formed in 1912, and changed its name to the Australian Postal Assistants' Union [APAU] in 1917. In 1926 the APAU was renamed the Fourth Division Postmasters, Postal Clerks & Telegraphists' Union, and remained an autonomous body until 1967. In November 1966 it amalgamated with the Australian Third Division Telegraphists & Postal Clerks' Union, effective from 19 February 1967. On amalgamation the unions adopted the title The Union of Postal Clerks & Telegraphists.

The move towards establishing an all-encompassing Communications Industry Union was advanced in August 1990 with the amalgamation of the Union of Postal Clerks & Telegraphists and the Australian Postal & Telecommunications Employees' Association.

In 1992 a further amalgamation occurred between the Australian Postal and Telegraphists' Union and the Australian Telecommunications Employees' Association to form the Communication Workers' Union of Australia [CWU]. This fulfilled the previously identified aim of having one union representing all workers in the Communications Industry. The following year, the Telecommunications Officers' Association amalgamated with the CWU.

On 1 August 1994 a final amalgamation between the CWU and the Electrical Electronic Plumbing & Allied Workers' Union of Australia led to the establishment of the Communications Electrical Electronic Energy Information Postal Plumbing & Allied Services Union of Australia [CEPU].


 1912 - 1917 Australian Commonwealth Post & Telegraph Officers Association
       1917 - 1926 Australian Postal Assistants Union
             1926 - 1967 Fourth Division Postmasters Postal Clerks & Telegraphists Union


Published resources


  • Baker, John S., Communicators and their First Trade Unions: A History of the Telegraphist and Postal Clerk Unions of Australia, UPCT, Haymarket, New South Wales, 1980, 372 pp. Details
  • Caiden, Gerald E., The A.C.P.T.A: A Study of White Collar Public Service Unionism in the Commonwealth of Australia 1885-1922, Department of Political Science, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra, 1966, 401 pp. Details

Online Resources

Digital resources

Chart 8: Trade Unions - Communications and Electrical


Bruce A. Smith