About

Hunter Workers is an organisation committed to ‘strength in unity.’ We successfully unite 70,000 workers across 27 Unions to foster communication and solidarity within the Union Community. Hunter Workers (formerly known as “Newcastle Trades Hall Council”) is the overall representative body that acts on behalf of all affiliated Unions in the Hunter Region. Established in 1895 it is one of the region’s largest community organisations.

The Hunter Region has an impressive history of Union participation and activism. Many of Australia’s most valued workplace conditions are sustained by the efforts of our hardworking workers. Throughout Australia’s history, we have fought for the right of Australians to receive decent wages, fairer working hours, and a safe and secure work environment.

This website is designed to help workers keep in touch with campaigns and events that impact the Hunter community. If you have never been asked to join a union, then this website can help you find the union that best represents you. There is a union for each and every Hunter Worker.

Hunter Workers encourages our community to join Hunter Workers and become involved with our campaigns and events. The staff at Hunter Workers can also help to resolve any issues or conflicts that may arise in your workplace.

Hunter Workers value our members. By supporting our members, we make a positive contribution to the wider community by ensuing their rights at work are protected and strengthened. With increased levels of communication, workers can unite and campaign to improve their conditions.

 

Community Projects

Throughout its’ history, Hunter Workers has aided the development of many community projects and was instrumental in:

  • Establishing the University of Newcastle in 1965
  • Forming and preserving the Westpac Rescue Helicopter
  • Protecting the Foreshore Park

 

Strength Through Unity

Australia prides itself on being a classless society that gives dignity to all citizens by ensuring high living standards. Unions have been instrumental in forming this part of our national identity. Without Unions, it is unlikely that Australia would be known as, “The Lucky Country.”

Unions have given Australian workers:

  • Medicare
  • Penalty Rates
  • Equal Pay
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Superannuation
  • Annual Leave
  • Decent working hours and The 40 Hour Week
  • Health & Safety Laws

Studies show that Unions dramatically improve workplace conditions and increase worker’s salaries. In recent years, Union participation has decreased in many countries, including Australia. Over the same period, there has also been a dramatic fall in workers wages (see below). As a result, societies are becoming more class ridden. Even in Australia, there is now a growing gap between “the rich” and “the poor.”

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To sustain our high living standards, it is vital for Australians to join their Union.

  • Because of our Union, Teachers in NSW have; two hours per week out of the classroom to prepare lessons, five dedicated days per year and funding for Professional Development Training, a State-Wide Transfer System (so that those who spend time in hard-to-teach or remote areas are able to transfer to more desirable areas when positions become available), and class sizes to meet the needs of various age groups...Some workers say to me that they can’t afford to be a Union member … really, you can’t afford not to be.

    Carrie Jacobi; Social and Environmental Activist & Primary School Teacher
  • Unions today fight to protect...hard won gains and build a better and fairer future for all workers. In my 40 years as a Union member, the Union has stood by me when it has mattered... Collective strength and mutual support is part of the fabric of Australian society -- mateship -- and that is what Unionism is.

    Cr Brian Adamthwaite (North Ward), Deputy Mayor Lake Macquarie City Council