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Trade Union entry Construction Forestry & Mining Employees Union (1992)

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    Chart 7: Trade Unions - Building, Construction, Mining and Timber Industries

Trade Union (Federal)
Reference No


At its 1989 biennial congress the Australian Council of Trade Unions [ACTU] determined a policy for the future structure of trade unions in Australia. Broadly, the new policy encouraged unions to amalgamate, with the intention of consolidating their human and financial resources to form better resourced, larger, industrial unions.

The Construction Forestry Mining & Energy Union [CFMEU] is the result of a series of amalgamations during the early 1990s. Prior to amalgamation there were numerous unions spread across construction, forestry, mining and energy industries. Those unions amalgamated along industry lines to form each of the divisions of the CFMEU. Each division operates autonomously, with its own membership, executive, resources, industry policies and campaigns.

These divisions date as far back as the mid nineteenth century and include such notable unions as the Miners' Federation, the Building Workers' Industrial Union of Australia, the Australian Timber Workers' Union, the Operative Plasterers' and the Operative Painters' & Decorators' Union of Australia.


 ? - 1874 Stawell Miners Association
 ? - 1874 Buninyong Miners Association
 ? - 1874 Blackwood Miners Association
 ? - 1874 Clunes Miners Association
 ? - 1874 Haddon Miners Association
 ? - 1874 St Arnaud Miners Association
 ? - 1874 Malmsbury Miners Association
 ? - 1874 Maldon Miners Association
 ? - 1874 Sandhurst Miners Association
 1870s - c. 1883 Creswick Miners Association
       1874 - c. 1884 Amalgamated Miners Association of Victoria
       1907 - 1914 Victorian Coal Miners Association
       1913 - 1948 Australian Paper Mill Employees Union
             c. 1884 - 1916 Amalgamated Miners Association of Australasia
             1913 - 1916 Australasian Coal Miners Association
             1918 - 1991 Australian Timber Workers Union
             1926 - 1929 Colliery Mechanics Mutual Protective Association Hunter River District, New South Wales
             1948 - 1991 Pulp & Paper Workers Federation of Australia
                   1916 - 1990 Australasian Coal & Shale Employees Federation
                   1929 - 1990 Federated Mining Mechanics Association of Australasia
                   1962 - 1991 Building Workers Industrial Union of Australia (ii)
                   1991 Australian Timber & Allied Industries Union
                         1990 - 1992 United Mineworkers Federation of Australia
                         1991 - 1992 ATAIU & BWIU Amalgamated Union
                               1992 Construction Forestry & Mining Employees Union
                                     1992 - 1993 Construction Forestry Mining & Energy Union (i)
                                           1993 - Construction Forestry Mining & Energy Union (ii)

Archival resources

National Library of Australia Oral History Collection

  • Tom McDonald interviewed by Richard Raxworthy in the Labor Council of New South Wales oral history project, 1994, ORAL TRC 3128/8; National Library of Australia Oral History Collection. Details

University of Wollongong Archives

  • Construction Forestry and Mining Employees Union (CFMEU), Wollongong Office 1960s-80s, 1960s - 1980s, D224; University of Wollongong Archives. Details

Published resources

Online Resources

Digital resources

Chart 7: Trade Unions - Building, Construction, Mining and Timber Industries


Bruce A. Smith