The History of the AWU

The History of the AWU

  • Paperback
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Description

History of the AWU is a first-hand account of the making of a union and the makings of a nation. It depicts the industrial and political struggles of workers in the late 19th century, and explains the motivations behind the people who forged Australia s most powerful and enduring blue-collar union. W. G. Spence was not only an observer of momentous events, he was also a leading participant in those events. With that in mind, Spence s book is more than just a record of the circumstances that led to the creation of the AWU. It is also an expression of the ideals that inspired the Australian labour movement and a manifesto for future generations of Australian unionists. With a foreword by Paul Howes, an introduction by Graham Freudenberg and a biography of Spence by Professor Nick Dyrenfurth, the updated History of the AWU is essential reading for everyone interested in how Australia came to be the country that it is today. Spence s history is the story of how misery and despair was transformed into hope and progress in Australia. Paul Howes Those of us who believe that a strong union movement is vital to the future success of the Australian Labor Parshow more

Product details

  • Paperback
  • 143 x 210 x 13mm
  • Melbourne University Press
  • Carlton, Australia
  • 052286287X
  • 9780522862874

About William Guthrie Spence

William Guthrie Spence was one of the most influential and enigmatic Australians of his era. From the 1880s through to the first World War, he was at the forefront of the labour movement and progressive politics in Australia. He was general secretary of the Amalgamated Miners Association of Victoria from 1882 to 1991, and was appointed foundation president of the Amalgamated Shearers Union of Australasia (ASU) in 1886. In 1894 the ASU merged with the General Labourers Union to form the AWU. Under his leadership, the AWU developed close ties with the Australian Labor Party. Spence had a lasting influence on the ethos of the AWU, defining its values as moderate and conciliatory but firm , and focused on a practical agenda for the betterment of its members. Paul Howes is national secretary of the AWU and vice-president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions. He is a member of the national executive of the Australian Labor Party and represents the Asia Pacific Region as a member of the executive committee of the International Metalworkers Federation. Paul lives in Sydney with his wife and three children. Graham Freudenberg has been working with Australiashow more