Clothing and Allied Trades Union of Australia

Clothing and Allied Trades Union of Australia
Full name Clothing and Allied Trades Union of Australia
Founded 1907
Date dissolved 1992
Merged into Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia
Members 40,529 (1971)[1]
Country Australia
Affiliation ACTU, ALP, International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers' Federation, Textile Workers' Asian Regional Organisation
Office location Labor Council Bldg., Sussex Street,Sydney, NSW

The Clothing and Allied Trades Union of Australia (CATU) was an Australian trade union which existed between 1907 and 1992[2].The CATU represented workers employed in the manufacture of clothing and manchester goods, including pressers, cutters and machinists[1]. Approximately 85 percent of the union's membership was female[1].



The CATU was originally formed in 1907 as the Federated Clothing Trades of the Commonwealth of Australia[2]. The union was created through the merger of a large number of small state- and craft-based trade unions which had been active in Australia since the mid-ninteenth century, including the Cutters and Trimmers Union of New South Wales and the Tailors' Trade Protection Society[2]. These unions primarily represented skilled, male craftsmen in what was already a largely female industry. This created an ongoing tension within the CATU between the need to represent the whole of the workforce within the industry, and the greater level of organisation and distinction within some male-dominated trade occupations[3]


During the 1970's and 80's the removal of tariff protections for manufactured goods in Australia, automation of production processes, and an increase in the availability of cheap imports from Asia greatly reduced the size of the workforce in the Australian clothing industry[1]. This, combined with a policy of union rationalisation pursued by the ACTU, put pressure on the CATU to effect a merger with other unions in the apparel industry[1]. In 1992 the union merged with the Amalgamated Footwear and Textile Workers' Union of Australia to form the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia[2].

Further Reading

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  1. ^ a b c d e Huntley, Pat and Huntley, Ian. (1985). "Inside Australia's Top 100 Trade Union". Northbridge:Ian Huntley Pty. Ltd. ISBN-0-9589527-01
  2. ^ a b c d Smith, Bruce A. created 20 April 2001, last modified 6 August 2010. Trade Union Entry: Clothing and Allied Trades Union of Australia. "". Australian Trade Union Archives. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
  3. ^ Ellem, B. L. (1986). "A History of the Clothing and Alled Trades Union". Doctor of Philosophy thesis, Department of History, University of Wollongong. [1]. retrieved 11 October 2011.

External links

  • The website of the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia, the successor to the CATU.

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