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Parties to the Award Australian Trade Union Archives Home Page
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Parties to the Award

Federal industrial relations legislation

Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1904

Industrial Relations Act 1988

Registered organisations
Associations eligible to register
Interstate disputes
Prior existence of an association
Definition of industry
Size requirements
Rights of registered organisations
Obligations of registered organisations
Dual registration
Deregistered organisations
Employer associations

Amalgamation trends

Research using archives



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Deregistered organisations

Organisations may be deregistered for various reasons. There are the previously mentioned reasons of the organisation being defunct or being unofficially absorbed by another. Further, when a registered organisation officially amalgamates with another or with others, the common practice is for the new amalgamated organisation to retain the registration of one of its immediate predecessors. The other organisation/s are recorded as having been deregistered in connection with an amalgamation. Occasionally an amalgamated organisation will receive a completely new registration number.

Another reason for an organisation to be deregistered is as a punitive measure. The Australian Building Construction Employees and Builders' Labourers' Federation is one example. It was deregistered in 1974 primarily on the grounds that 'green bans' placed by its NSW Branch did not further the interests of the organisation or its members and so were incompatible with registration under the Conciliation and Arbitration Act.[31] Later, with the NSW Branch controlled by the Federal Office, the Federation applied for reregistration. A new registration was granted in 1976. The Federation was again deregistered in 1986, this time for 'serious industrial misconduct'. Deregistration occurred simultaneously at federal and state levels (with the cancellation of registration/recognition by New South Wales, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory). Much of the membership of the deregistered Federation was absorbed by other building unions such as the Federated Engine Drivers and Firemen's Association of Australasia, the Building Workers' Industrial Union of Australia and the Australian Workers' Union.

The Federation's application in 1989 for federal reregistration was met with objections by these unions that the Federation's former coverage was now adequately handled by them. Reregistration was not granted and in 1994 the remaining state-registered branches of the Federation decided to amalgamate with the federally registered Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union.

Deregistration does not necessarily mean that a union ceases to operate. The Building Workers' Industrial Workers Union of Australia was deregistered for punitive reasons in 1948, but continued to exist as an unregistered 'association' up to 1962, when it was reregistered. The unregistered association was even cited by ACTU President Albert Monk as a union to which workers could 'conveniently belong', in his objection to the registration of the breakaway Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners of Australia in the early 1950s.[32]

Organisations are also deregistered for technical reasons. The Permanent and Casual Wharf Labourers Union of Australia had its registration of 1926 cancelled the following year due to successful appeals by the Waterside Workers' Federation of Australia and the Federated Storemen and Packers' Union of Australia asserting that it did not comprise the required one hundred members at the time of its application for registration.[33] The union promptly reregistered later in 1927. The Australian Industrial Relations Commission's review of the registration of 'small organisations' under the Industrial Relations Act will be examined later.

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© 1994 Print Edition pages 6 - 7, 2002 Online Edition
Published by The University of Melbourne Archives, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher