Century of Tailoresses UnionPrint Page Print this page

The plaque commemorates the centenary of the Tailoresses Union.

The Tailoresses’ Association of Melbourne, Australia’s first female trade union was established at a meeting held in Trades Hall on 15 December 1882. At this meeting women met in response to the Melbourne clothing manufacturer Beith Shiess & Co attempts to reduce piece-rate wages. A strike was later called, on 15 February 1883, when clothing manufacturers had not responded to the log of claims.

As each manufacturer accepted the log, employees resumed work. The strike is generally regarded as instrumental in the establishment of the Shops Commission and the eventual passage of the Factory Act. When the new Factory Act was passed in 1885, the recommendations, of the March 1884 Royal Commission, regarding outwork were not incorporated and working conditions in the industry were not substantially affected by its operation. In 1906, the Tailoresses’ Union amalgamated with the Tailors’ Society.


Address:132-138 Leicester Street, Clothing & Allied Trades Union Building, Carlton, 3053
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.803024
Long: 144.960673
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Technology
Approx. Event Start Date:1882
Approx. Event End Date:1982


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 15th December, 1982
Front Inscription


This plaque commemorates the centenary of the Tailoresses` Union formed in Melbourne on the 15th December 1882, pioneers in the continuing struggle to abolish sweated labour in the clothing industry.

Unveiled by the Honourable Pauline Toner, M.P., Victoria`s first woman Cabinet Minister, in the presence of the Honourable John Cain M.P., Premier of Victoria

15th December 1982.

The Clothing and Allied Trades Union of Australia, Victorian Branch.
Sue Wyte, President; Walter Claringbold, Secretary

Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au