About - UnionsWA

About UnionsWA

UnionsWA is the state's peak union body, representing over 30 affiliated unions which have over 150,000 members in Western Australia.

Unions provide an opportunity for employees to join together with others in their workplace and their industry to have a say about their pay, conditions, workplace health and safety and the ways in which work may impact on their lives for the better.

The idea of working together with other people - in a workplace, in an industry, or in your community, is one of the central driving forces behind unionism. The same principle applies within UnionsWA.

Working as a group, all WA unions speaking together on behalf of their members can provide a stronger and clearer voice when it comes to issues that face working people and their families. If you work and are not a member of your union you can find out how to join here

Not just workplace issues

UnionsWA does not just speak on workplace issues. We also liaise with indigenous and ethnic communities, social justice and environmental groups. Because issues facing working people across the globe are common we work with trade unionists from other countries. We are also affiliated to the national peak trade union body, the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU).

Conservative governments, as well as some employers and sections of the media try to portray unionism as old fashioned and unnecessary, but tens of thousands of working people across Australia will tell you something very different - that their union gives them an opportunity to have a say over what they are paid and it gives them some security in their job.

Our Team


Owen Whittle

Carolyn Smith (United Workers Union)

Senior Vice-President 
Rikki Hendon (Community and Public Sector Union CSA)

Mick Buchan (Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union)
Naomi McCrae (Health Services Union WA)
Ben Harris (The Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees' Association of WA)
Matt Jarman (State School Teachers' Union of W.A. (Inc))

UnionsWA is a democratic organisation, where affiliated unions elect the leadership group as well as the decision-making bodies of UnionsWA. We have a formal Constitution and Rules which sets out how the organisation functions, including the functions of our key decision making-bodies: UnionsWA Council and UnionsWA Executive.

Who makes up UnionsWA Council?

  • President
  • Senior Vice President
  • Vice Presidents (x4)
  • Secretary
  • Assistant Secretary
  • Council members nominated from affiliated unions. Number of representatives depends on the size of the Union

UnionsWA Council is the supreme decision making body for the WA trade union movement. It meets monthly with delegates from all affiliated unions. The forum for the meetings offers an opportunity to exchange information; debate and consider union and community issues and campaigns and to educate union delegates on current issues. Union members and community activists are welcome as observers.

Council meetings are held on the third Tuesday of every month, commencing at 6pm.

Who makes up UnionsWA Executive?

  • President
  • Senior Vice President
  • Vice Presidents (x4)
  • Secretary
  • Assistant Secretary
  • Executive Members (x20) from a variety of union industry Groups

The Executive meets monthly and other meetings are called as required. Council is the main decision making body of UnionsWA, so all Executive decisions must be ratified (final approval) by Council.

Our History

Unions in WA, and peak bodies representing unions and their members, have a long and proud history of advancing the interests of working people. Click here to download 'A Brief History of UnionsWA: Reflections after 50 years' by Benjamin Archer (UnionsWA, 2013).


The Trades & Labor Council, Perth was formed in 1891 and operated until 1907 when it re-emerged as the Western Australian Branch of the Australian Labour Federation.

Here is a short video about Gold Fields Union Banners from the early 1900's.


Twenty years later, in 1927, it operate as the Australian Labor Party (WA).


It continued in this structure for twenty years when, in 1947, the name changed to the Trade Unions Industrial Council (ALP, WA) to more accurately delineate trade union roles from the political aims of the labour movement.


In 1963 the Trade Unions Industrial Council (ALP, WA) was deregistered and the Trades & Labor Council of Western Australia was formed to fill the void.

Although still acknowledged today as the Trades & Labor Council of Western Australia, an increasing association with 'white collar' unions had, by 2000, deemed this old title unreflective of all affiliated unions.

In 1997 the TLC WA led one of the largest demonstrations in WA history against proposed workplace law changes. This video provides a short history of that dispute.


Thus, in April 2000, the Trades & Labor Council became UnionsWA to more adequately encompass both white and blue collar unions.

Over the Years

  • 1891 - 1907 Trades & Labor Council, Perth
  • 1907 - 1927 Australian Labour Federation (WA)
  • 1927 - 1947 Australian Labor Party (WA)
  • 1947 - 1963 Trade Unions Industrial Council (ALP, WA)
  • 1963 - 2000 Trades & Labor Council of Western Australia
  • 2000 - UnionsWA

Contact us

Contact details for UnionsWA and Unity Training Services located at Level 4, 445 Hay Street Perth.




08 6313 6000


(Media calls to 0417 923 029)

Postal Address:

PO Box Z5380 St Georges Tce


[email protected]



Unity Training Services



08 9227 7809


Web site



[email protected]


We plan, from time to time, to invite supporters to make online donations for specific causes such as the union-supported overseas aid agency, APHEDA or to support individual workers in crisis or for other causes. Soon it will be possible for purchases to be made online.  Our online payment system and details for donations is currently under construction. However we have a written donation refund and privacy policy which can be viewed as pdf here. (and below)

Online donations, merchant and privacy policy

UnionsWA Incorporated
ABN 64 950 883 305
Level 4, 445 Hay Street, Perth WA 6000


UnionsWA Incorporated regards the privacy of members, supporters and donors as an important part of our relationship with them. The following privacy policy applies to all UnionsWA Incorporated users, supporters and donors and conforms to Internet privacy standards.

If you have questions or concerns regarding this statement, you should first contact us on 08 6313 6001.

Collection of Information

In order to use the UnionsWA Incorporated website, we may require information from you in order to provide the best service possible.

All correspondence may also be collected and stored, particularly in regard to donations, sales, support and accounts, including email.

Any information collected by UnionsWA Incorporated is collected via correspondence from you or your company. This may be via the telephone, email, mail, fax or directly through our website.

Use of Collection Information

Any details collected from UnionsWA Incorported supporters, donors or customers is required in order to provide you with our products and/or services, and a high level of customer service. Correspondence is recorded in order to provide service references, and to assist in our staff development.

Storage of Collected Information

The security of your personal information is important to us. When you enter sensitive information (such as credit card numbers) on our website, we encrypt that information using secure socket layer technology (SSL). When Credit Card details are collected, we simply pass them on in order to be processed as required. We never permanently store complete Credit Card details.

We follow generally accepted industry standards to protect the personal information submitted to us, both during transmission and once we receive it. If you have any questions about security on our website, you can email us at [email protected].

Access to Collected Information

If your personally identifiable information changes, or if you no longer to continue to provide support, you may correct, update, delete or deactivate it by emailing us at [email protected].

Donation and Orders

If you make a donation or purchase a product or service from us, we may request certain personally identifiable information from you. You may be required to provide contact information (such as name, Email, and postal address) and financial information (such as credit card number, expiration date).

We use this information for the purposes of processing donations or billing purposes and to contribute towards an aspect of our campaign for which you have made a donation or to fill your order(s). If we have trouble processing an order, we will use this information to contact you.


UnionsWA Incorporated uses personally identifiable information for essential communications, such as Emails, accounts information, and critical service details. We may also use this information for other purposes, including some promotional Emails. If at any time a customer wishes not to receive such correspondence, they can request to be removed from any mailing lists by emailing us at
[email protected].
You will be notified when your personal information is collected by any third party that is not our agent/service provider, so you can make an informed choice as to whether or not to share your information with that party.

Third Parties

UnionsWA Incorporated may at its discretion use other third parties to provide process donation or other essential services on our site or for our business processes. We may share your details as necessary for the third party to provide that service.
These third parties are prohibited from using your personally identifiable information for any other purpose. UnionsWA Incorporated does not share any information with third parties for any unknown or unrelated uses.


We reserve the right to disclose your personally identifiable information as required by law and when we believe that disclosure is necessary to protect our rights and/or comply with a judicial proceeding, court order, or legal process served on our Website.


Links on UnionsWA Incorporated sites are to external entities and are not covered within this policy. The terms and conditions set out in this privacy statement only cover the domain name of UnionsWA.

Changes to Privacy Policy

If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes to this privacy statement, the homepage, and other places we deem appropriate so that you are aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. We reserve the right to modify this privacy statement at any time, so please review it frequently. If we make material
changes to this policy, we will notify you here, by Email, or by means of a notice on our homepage.

UnionsWA Security Policy

UnionsWA Incorporated uses the eWAY Payment Gateway for its online credit card transactions. eWAY processes online credit card transactions for thousands of Australian merchants, providing a safe and secure means of collecting payments via the Internet. All online credit card transactions performed on this site using the eWAY gateway are secured payments.

  • Payments are fully automated with an immediate response.
  • Your complete credit card number cannot be viewed by Save Our Services or UnionsWA or any outside party.
  • All transactions are performed under 128 Bit SSL Certificate.
  • All transaction data is encrypted for storage within eWAY’s bank-grade data centre, further protecting your credit card data.
  • eWAY is an authorised third party processor for all the major Australian banks.
  • eWAY at no time touches your funds; all monies are directly transferred from your credit card to the merchant account held by Save Our Services and UnionsWA.

For more information about eWAY and online credit card payments, please visit www.eWAY.com.au

Donations Policy

Where a donation is made to UnionsWA Incorporated that donation will go towards the purpose sought and no other matter. UnionsWA Incorporated is a an income tax exempt entity for the purposes of GST.
UnionsWA Incorporated is not a deductible gift recipient entity and donations are not automatically tax deductible. For some individuals there may be a legitimate tax deduction claimed for work purposes. However, the donor is responsible to ensuring that any claim made complies with the relevant taxation law.

Delivery Policy

Physical goods
After ordering online, you will receive an email confirmation from eWAY containing your order details (if you have provided your email address). We will normally confirm receipt of your order within a few minutes of ordering. We will attempt to send your goods via ordinary post (unless specified otherwise in the online details) within five working days; however if goods are unavailable
delivery will take a little longer.
If you wish to query a delivery please contact us at [email protected] .

Digital Delivery

After ordering online, you will receive an email confirmation from eWAY containing your order details (if you have provided your email address). We will normally confirm receipt of your order within a few minutes of ordering. We will attempt to send your software/license/access code via email within five working days.
If you wish to query a delivery please contact us at [email protected].

Refund & Returns Policy

If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with your purchase or decide that you no longer wish to make a donation, we will give you three days to access a money-back guarantee from the time you receive the goods or made a donation. Please email us at [email protected] within that time if you are not satisfied with your donation or purchase so that we can resolve any

This refund policy does not apply to goods which have been worn or used, damaged after delivery, or if any attempt has been made to alter the product or if they have been dropped or broken. All products must be returned in their original condition. All postage and insurance costs are to be paid by the buyer.

We recommend that you return the product via Registered post and that you pre-pay all postage. You assume any risk of lost, theft or damaged goods during transit & therefore advise you take out shipment registration of insurance with your postal carrier. UnionsWA Incorporated will not be responsible for parcels lost or damaged in transit if you choose not to insure.

If you have any enquiries regarding this document and the payment services offered by eWAY please visit their website at www.eway.com.au

Solidarity Park


Solidarity Park was founded in 1997 during the ‘Third Wave Campaign’, when the Liberal Government introduced legislation that would significantly restrict the ability of unions to protect members and the general community from unfair and exploitative employment practices.


Solidarity Park is, each year, the location for an International Worker's Memorial Day service in Perth. 

On 29 April 1997, over 25,000 unionists and community supporters marched on Parliament House to demand the scrapping of these unjust laws. The Government rejected this demand. So, on 1 May - May Day - the site was pegged and legally claimed by unionists under the provisions of the Mining Act.

Here is a short video of the history of Solidarity Park.

The unions co-ordinated a 6 month long, 24 hour a day, protest occupation of this site in defiance of the pending legislation and attempts by the Government to require union and community protesters ‘move on’. They refused to do so and, although the legislation was passed, it was never fully enacted for fear of further union backlash. The change of government in 2001 saw the laws repealed.

Originally called the Workers’ Embassy, the site was renamed Solidarity Park in late July 1997. The Mark Allen Memorial Wall, built on 21 June 1997, commemorates all killed and injured workers, with the International Workers' Memorial Day WA service held annually in April.

Twenty years after the 3rd wave protests, UnionsWA hosted a commemorative event at Solidarity Park.  Photo's form that occasion can be view here.

Solidarity Park is still used for event in addition to the annual Worker's Memorial Day.  For example, following the death of Gough Whitlam in November 2014, members of the labour movement gathered at Solidarity Park for a memorial service. Here Irene Snow talks about what Whitlam meant to her and her family.

UnionsWA currently holds a Management Order over Solidarity Park and is responsible for the use, upkeep, and maintenance of the park.

If any information is needed in regards to Solidarity Park including bookings for events contact UnionsWA [email protected]

Unity training