Two green and gold beer cans standing side by side. There is a logo in the centre that reads 125 in celebration of 125 years of the United Trades and Labor Council of SA.

A council to unite all trades

120 years of the United Trades and Labor Council of South Australia was celebrated in 2004 with the production of a limited edition beer, Dr Tim’s Ale by South Australian brewery Coopers.

Carpenters, tailors, bakers, carriers, cordwainers (shoe makers) and coach makers had formed unions within ten years of European settlement of South Australia, and by the 1870s there were thousands of union members in the colony.

In 1884 the Unites Trades and Labor Council was formed to coordinate union activities and advocate on behalf of workers. The most important issues for advocacy were working conditions, hours, and pay.

The council was entirely male until two delegates from the Working Women’s Union joined the 48 men in the early 1890s.


History Trust of South Australia, HT 2014.969