Trades Unions Act 1889
An Act to legalize trades unions in Tasmania
Be it enacted by His Excellency the Governor of Tasmania, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Council and House of Assembly, in Parliament assembled, as follows:
This Act may be cited as the Trades Unions Act 1889 .
[Section 2 Amended by 25 Geo. V No. 78 ][Section 2A Repealed by No. 16 of 1985, s. 4 ](1) In this Act trade union means any combination, whether temporary or permanent, for regulating the relations between workmen and employers, or between workmen and workmen, or between employers and employers, or for imposing restrictive conditions on the conduct of any trade or business, whether such combination would or would not if this Act had not passed have been deemed to have been an unlawful combination by reason of some one or more of its purposes being in restraint of trade: Provided that this Act shall not affect any agreement (a) between partners as to their own business;(b) between an employer and those employed by him as to such employment;(c) in consideration of the sale of the goodwill of a business, or of instruction in any profession, trade, or handicraft.(2) [Section 2 Subsection (2) substituted by No. 16 of 1985, s. 3 ]In this Act, Commissioner means the Commissioner for Corporate Affairs holding office under section 4 of the Commissioner for Corporate Affairs Act 1980 , and includes any person holding that office in an acting capacity.
3. Trade union purposes not unlawful merely because in restraint of trade
[Section 3 Amended by 25 Geo. V No. 78 ]The purposes of any trade union shall not by reason merely that they are in restraint of trade be unlawful so as to (a) render void or voidable any agreement or trust; or(b) render any member of such trade union liable to criminal prosecution for conspiracy.
4. Trade union contracts: When not enforceable
[Section 4 Amended by 25 Geo. V No. 78 ][Section 5 Repealed by No. 9 of 1982, s. 7 and Sched. 10 ](1) Nothing in this Act shall enable any court to entertain any legal proceeding instituted with the object of directly enforcing or recovering damages for the breach of any agreement (a) between members of a trade union as such concerning the conditions on which any members of such trade union shall or shall not sell their goods, transact business, employ, or be employed;(b) for the payment by any person of any subscription or penalty to a trade union;(c) for the application of the funds of a trade union (i) to provide benefits to members;(ii) to furnish contributions to any employer or workman, not a member of such trade union, in consideration of such employer or workman acting in conformity with the rules or resolutions of such trade union; or(iii) to discharge any fine imposed upon any person by sentence of a court; or(d) made between one trade union and another; or any bond to secure the performance of any of the above-mentioned agreements.(2) Nothing in this section shall render any of the above-mentioned agreements unlawful.
6. Registration of trade unions
Any seven or more members of a trade union may, by subscribing their names to the rules of the union and otherwise complying with the provisions of this Act with respect to registry, register such trade union under this Act: Provided that if any one of the purposes of such trade union be unlawful such registration shall be void.
7. Buildings for trade unions may be purchased or leased
[Section 7 Amended by 25 Geo. V No. 78 ](1) Any trade union registered under this Act may, or any two or more trade unions may jointly, for the purposes of the union or unions, purchase or take upon lease, in the names of the trustees of such union or unions, any land or buildings for the purpose of carrying on its or their affairs, and may sell, exchange, mortgage, or let the same.(2) No purchaser, assignee, mortgagee, or tenant shall be bound to inquire whether the trustees have authority for any sale, exchange, mortgage, or letting, and the receipt of the trustees shall be a discharge for the money arising therefrom.(3) For the purpose of this section every branch of a trade union shall be considered a distinct union, but it shall not be lawful for any branch of a trade union to expend any of its funds in the purchase of lands or erection of any buildings without first obtaining the consent of the parent society.(4) No portion of any funds so expended on the purchase of any lands or buildings or on the erection of any buildings shall consist of subscriptions by members of any trade union to the sick or benefit funds of such trade union.
8. Property of trade union vested in trustees
[Section 8 Amended by 25 Geo. V No. 78 ](1) All real and personal estate whatsoever belonging to any trade union registered under this Act shall be vested in the trustees of the trade union appointed as provided by this Act for the use and benefit of such trade union and the members thereof, and the real or personal estate of any branch of a trade union shall be vested in the trustees of such branch, or of the trustees of the trade union if the rules of the trade union so provide, and be under the control of such trustees, their respective executors or administrators, according to their respective claims and interests.(2) Upon the death, resignation, or removal of any such trustees the same shall vest in the succeeding trustees for the same estate and interest as the former trustees had therein, and subject to the same trusts, without any conveyance or assignment or transfer.(3) [Section 8 Subsection (3) amended by No. 19 of 1980, s. 171 and Sched. 1 ]In case any such property be under the Land Titles Act 1980 , the trustees in whom the same is vested under the provisions of this Act shall be deemed the proprietors thereof within the meaning of that Act as if the names of such trustees appeared or were recorded as proprietors of that property in the Register kept under that Act.(4) In all actions, indictments, or summary proceedings touching or concerning any such property, the same shall be stated to be the property of the persons holding the said office of trustee in their proper names as trustees of such trade union without any further description.
9. Actions, &c., by or against trustees
[Section 9 Amended by 25 Geo. V No. 78 ](1) The trustees of any trade union registered under this Act, or any other officer of such trade union who may be authorized so to do by the rules thereof, are hereby empowered to bring or defend, or cause to be brought or defended, any action, prosecution, or complaint in any court touching or concerning the property, right, or claim to property of the trade union.(2) Such trustees may, in all cases concerning the real or personal property of such trade union, sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded in any court in their proper names without other description than the title of their office.(3) No such action, prosecution, or complaint shall be discontinued or shall abate by the death or removal from office of such persons or any of them, but the same shall and may be proceeded in by their successors as if such death, resignation, or removal had not taken place, and such successors shall pay or receive the like costs as if the action, prosecution, or complaint had been commenced in their names for the benefit of, or to be reimbursed from, the funds of such trade union.(4) Any summons to be issued to any such trustee or other officer may be served by leaving the same at the registered office of the trade union.
10. Limitation of responsibility of trustees
A trustee of any trade union registered under this Act shall not be liable to make good any deficiency which may arise or happen in the funds of such trade union, but shall be liable only for the moneys which shall be actually received by him on account of such trade union.
11. Treasurer, &c., to account
[Section 11 Amended by 25 Geo. V No. 78 ](1) Every treasurer or other officer of a trade union registered under this Act, at such times as by the rules of such trade union he should render such account as hereinafter mentioned, or upon being required so to do, shall render to the trustees of the trade union, or to the members of such trade union, at a meeting of the trade union, a just and true account of all moneys received and paid by him since he last rendered the like account and of the balance then remaining in his hands, and of all bonds and securities of such trade union.(2) The trustees shall cause such account to be audited by some fit and proper person by them to be appointed.(3) Such treasurer, if thereunto required, upon the said account being audited, shall forthwith hand over to the said trustees the balance which on such audit appears to be due from him, and shall also, if required, hand over to such trustees all securities and effects, books, papers, and property of the said trade union in his hands or custody; and if he fail to do so the trustees of the said trade union may sue such treasurer in any competent court for the balance appearing to have been due from him upon the account last rendered by him, and for all the moneys since received by him on account of the said trade union, and for the securities and effects, books, papers, and property in his hands or custody, leaving him to set off in such action the sums, if any, which he may have since paid on account of the said trade union.(4) [Section 11 Subsection (4) amended by No. 23 of 2009, s. 44, Applied:16 Jun 2009] In any such action the said trustees shall be entitled to recover their full costs to be taxed as between Australian legal practitioner and client.
12. Punishment for officer or member, &c., withholding money, &c.
[Section 12 Amended by 25 Geo. V No. 78 ][Section 12 Subsection (1) amended by No. 99 of 1982, s. 3 and Sched. 2, Pt. III ][Section 12 Subsection (1) amended by No. 16 of 1985, s. 6 and Sched. 1 ][Section 12 Subsection (1) amended by No. 43 of 1991, s. 5 and Sched. 1 ](1) [Section 12 Subsection (1) amended by No. 55 of 1965, s. 5 ]If any officer, member, or other person being or representing himself to be a member of a trade union registered under this Act, or the nominee, executor, administrator, or assignee of a member thereof, or any person whatsoever, by false representation or imposition obtain possession of any moneys, securities, books, papers, or other effects of such trade union, or, having the same in his possession, wilfully withhold or fraudulently misapply the same, or wilfully apply any part of the same to purposes other than those expressed or directed in the rules of such trade union or any part thereof, any two justices, upon a complaint made by any person on behalf of such trade union or by the Commissioner, may make an order requiring such officer, member, or other person to deliver up all such moneys, securities, books, papers, or other effects to the trade union, or to repay the amount of money applied improperly, and to pay, if such justices think fit, a further sum of money not exceeding 5 penalty units, together with costs not exceeding $2.(2) [Section 12 Subsection (2) amended by No. 43 of 1991, s. 5 and Sched. 1 ]In default of such delivery of effects or repayment of such amount of money, or payment of such penalty and costs as aforesaid, such justices may order the said person so convicted to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months.
[Section 13 Amended by No. 21 of 1973, s. 5 and Sched. 1 ]A person of or over the age of eighteen may be a member of a trade union, unless provision be made in the rules thereof to the contrary; and may, subject to the rules of the trade union, enjoy all the rights of a member and execute all instruments and give all acquittances necessary to be executed or given under the rules.
14. Nomination by member of payee of moneys payable on death
A member of a trade union, not being under the age of eighteen years, may, by writing under his hand delivered at or sent to the registered office of the trade union, nominate any person, not being an officer or servant of the trade union (unless such officer or servant is the husband, wife, father, mother, child, brother, sister, nephew, or niece of the nominator) to whom any moneys payable on the death of such member, not exceeding $100, shall be paid at his decease, and may revoke or vary such nomination by a writing under his hand similarly delivered or sent; and on receiving satisfactory proof of the death of a nominator, the trade union shall pay to the nominee the amount due to the deceased member, not exceeding the sum aforesaid.
15. Regulations as to registration
[Section 15 Amended by 25 Geo. V No. 78 ][Section 15 Amended by No. 16 of 1985, s. 5 ]With respect to the registration under this Act of a trade union and of the rules thereof, the following provisions shall have effect:(a) An application to register the trade union, and printed copies of the rules, together with a list of the titles and names of the officers, shall be sent to the Commissioner under this Act;(b) The Commissioner, upon being satisfied that the trade union has complied with the regulations respecting registration in force under this Act, shall register such trade union and such rules;(c) No trade union shall be registered under a name identical with that by which any other existing trade union has been registered, or so nearly resembling such name as to be likely to deceive the members or the public;(d) Where a trade union applying to be registered has been in operation for more than a year before the date of such application, there shall be delivered to the Commissioner before the registration thereof a general statement of the receipts, funds, effects, and expenditure of such trade union, in the same form and showing the same particulars as if it were the annual general statement required to be transmitted under section 22 (1) to the Commissioner;(e) The Commissioner upon registering such trade union shall issue a certificate of registration, which certificate, unless proved to have been withdrawn or cancelled, shall be conclusive evidence that the regulations of this Act with respect to registration have been complied with;(f) The Governor may make regulations respecting registration under this Act, and respecting the seal, if any, to be used for the purpose of such registration and the inspection of documents kept by the Commissioner, and respecting the fees, if any, to be paid on registration, not exceeding the fees specified in the first schedule , and generally for carrying this Act into effect.
16. Rules of registered trade union
With respect to the rules of a trade union registered under this Act, the following provisions shall have effect:(a) The rules of every such trade union shall contain provisions in respect of the several matters mentioned in the second schedule ;(b) A copy of the rules and the names and addresses of the trustees shall be delivered by the trade union to every person on demand, on payment of a sum not exceeding 10¢.
17. Registered office of trade union
[Section 17 Amended by 25 Geo. V No. 78 ](1) Every trade union registered under this Act shall have a registered office, to which all communications and notices may be addressed.(2) If any trade union under this Act is in operation for seven days without having such an office, such trade union and every officer thereof shall each incur a daily penalty of $10.(3) [Section 17 Subsection (3) amended by No. 16 of 1985, s. 6 and Sched. 1 ]Notice of the situation of such registered office and of any change therein shall be given to the Commissioner and recorded by him, and until such notice is given the trade union shall not be deemed to have complied with the provisions of this Act.
18. Change of name of trade union
[Section 18 Amended by 25 Geo. V No. 78 ](1) [Section 18 Subsection (1) amended by No. 16 of 1985, s. 6 and Sched. 1 ]A trade union may, with the approval in writing of the Commissioner, change its name by the consent of not less than two-thirds of the total number of members.(2) No change of name shall affect any right or obligation of the trade union or of any member thereof, and any pending legal proceedings may be continued by or against the trustees of the trade union or any other officer, who may sue or be sued on behalf of such trade union notwithstanding its new name.
19. Amalgamation of trade unions
Any two or more trade unions may, by the consent of not less than two-thirds of the members of each or every such trade union, become amalgamated together as one trade union, with or without any dissolution or division of the funds of such trade unions or either or any of them; but no amalgamation shall prejudice any right of a creditor of either or any union party thereto.
20. Registration of change of name or amalgamation
[Section 20 Amended by 25 Geo. V No. 78 ](1) [Section 20 Subsection (1) amended by No. 16 of 1985, s. 6 and Sched. 1 ]Notice in writing of every change of name or amalgamation, signed in the case of a change of name by seven members and countersigned by the secretary of the trade union changing its name, and accompanied by a statutory declaration by such secretary that the provisions of this Act in respect of changes of name have been complied with, and in the case of an amalgamation signed by seven members and countersigned by the secretary of each or every union party thereto and accompanied by a statutory declaration by each or every such secretary that the provisions of this Act in respect of amalgamations have been complied with, shall be sent to the Commissioner and registered by him.(2) [Section 20 Subsection (2) amended by No. 16 of 1985, s. 6 and Sched. 1 ]The Commissioner shall thereupon issue to such secretary or secretaries an acknowledgment of registry of such change of name or amalgamation; and such acknowledgment shall be conclusive evidence that the same is duly registered.(3) Until such acknowledgment of registry of change of name or amalgamation has been issued to and received by such secretary or secretaries such change of name or amalgamation shall not take effect.
21. No trade union to be registered without provision regarding dissolution
[Section 21 Amended by 25 Geo. V No. 78 ][Section 21 Amended by No. 16 of 1985, s. 6 and Sched. 1 ]No trade union shall be registered under this Act unless the rules of such trade union contain provisions (a) as to the manner in which the same may be dissolved;(b) that whenever the certificate of registration is withdrawn or cancelled by the Commissioner the real and personal property to which such trade union is beneficially entitled shall be applied first, to the payment of all just debts and liabilities of such trade union due and owing to persons other than persons being members thereof; secondly, to the payment of all just claims of members and persons claiming any relief or other benefit from such trade union; and thereafter to some other purpose which such rules shall specify.
[Section 22 Amended by 25 Geo. V No. 78 ][Section 22 Subsection (4) amended by No. 43 of 1991, s. 5 and Sched. 1 ][Section 23 Repealed by No. 16 of 1985, s. 6 and Sched. 1 ][Section 24 Repealed by 14 Geo. V No. 69, s. 3 and Sched. 2 ](1) [Section 22 Subsection (1) amended by No. 16 of 1985, s. 6 and Sched. 1 ]A general statement of the receipts, funds, effects, and expenditure of every trade union registered under this Act shall be transmitted to the Commissioner before the first day of February in every year, and shall show fully the assets and liabilities at the date and the receipts and expenditure during the year ending on the thirty-first day of December then last past, and shall show separately the expenditure in respect of the several objects of the trade union, and shall be prepared and made out up to such date, in such form, and shall comprise such particulars as the Commissioner may require.(2) Every member of and depositor in any such trade union shall be entitled to receive on application to the treasurer or secretary of that trade union a copy of such general statement without making any payment for the same.(3) [Section 22 Subsection (3) amended by No. 16 of 1985, s. 6 and Sched. 1 ]In every year before the first day of February a statement of the changes of officers and a copy of all alterations of rules and new rules made by every trade union during the year ending on the thirty-first day of December then last past, and a copy of the rules of every trade union as they exist at that date, shall be transmitted to the Commissioner.(4) [Section 22 Subsection (4) amended by No. 55 of 1965, s. 5 ]Every trade union which fails to comply with, or acts in contravention of this section, and also every officer of the trade union so failing, shall each be liable to a fine not exceeding 1 penalty unit.(5) [Section 22 Subsection (5) amended by No. 55 of 1965, s. 5 ]Every person who wilfully makes, or orders to be made, any false entry in or any omission from any such general statement, or in or from the return of such copies of rules or alterations of rules, shall be liable to a fine not exceeding 10 penalty units.
25. Penalty for failure to give notice
[Section 25 Amended by No. 16 of 1985, s. 6 and Sched. 1 ][Section 25 Amended by No. 55 of 1965, s. 5 ]A trade union which fails to give any notice or send any document which it is required by this Act to give or send, and every officer or other person bound by the rules thereof to give or send the same, or if there be no such officer then every member of the committee of management of the union, unless proved to have been ignorant of or to have attempted to prevent the omission to give or send the same, is liable to a penalty of not less than $2 and not more than $10, recoverable at the suit of the Commissioner or of any person aggrieved, and to an additional penalty of the like amount for each week during which the omission continues.
26. Withdrawal or cancellation of certificates of registration
[Section 26 Amended by 25 Geo. V No. 78 ](1) [Section 26 Subsection (1) amended by No. 16 of 1985, s. 6 and Sched. 1 ]No certificate of registration of a trade union shall be withdrawn or cancelled otherwise than by the Commissioner, and in the following cases only:(a) At the request of the trade union, to be evidenced in such manner as the Commissioner shall direct;(b) On proof to his satisfaction that a certificate of registration has been obtained by fraud or mistake, or that the registration of the trade union has become void as hereinbefore provided, or that such trade union has wilfully (and after notice from the Commissioner) violated any of the provisions of this Act, or has ceased to exist.(2) [Section 26 Subsection (2) amended by No. 16 of 1985, s. 6 and Sched. 1 ]Not less than two months' previous notice in writing specifying briefly the ground of any proposed withdrawal or cancelling of certificate (unless the same is shown to have become void as aforesaid, in which case it shall be the duty of the Commissioner to cancel the same forthwith) shall be given by the Commissioner to the trade union before the certificate of registration of the same is withdrawn or cancelled, except at its request.(3) A trade union whose certificate of registration has been withdrawn or cancelled shall, from the time of such withdrawal or cancelling, absolutely cease to enjoy as such the privileges of a registered trade union, but without prejudice to any liability actually incurred by such trade union, which may be enforced against the same as if such withdrawal or cancelling had not taken place.(4) Notwithstanding such withdrawal or cancelling, all real and personal estate vested in trustees for the use and benefit of such trade union, and the members thereof, shall from the time of such withdrawal or cancelling be, and be deemed to be, held by the said trustees to the use and for the purposes specified in the rules of such trade union in that behalf made in accordance with this Act.
27. Interested person not to act as member of court of appeal
[Section 27 Amended by 25 Geo. V No. 78 ]No justice who is an employer, or father, son, or brother of an employer, in the particular manufacture, trade, or business in or in connection with which any offence under this Act is charged to have been committed, shall act as a member of a court of petty sessions during the hearing of a charge or proceedings relating to or in connection with such offence.
SCHEDULE 1 - Maximum fees[Schedule 1 Amended by 25 Geo. V No. 78 ][Schedule 1 Amended by No. 55 of 1965, s. 5 ]
For registering trade union
For registering alterations in rules
For inspection of documents
SCHEDULE 2 - Of matters to be provided for by the rules of trade unions registered under this Act[Schedule 2 Amended by 25 Geo. V No. 78 ]
1. The name of the trade union and place of meeting for the business of the trade union.
2. The whole of the objects for which the trade union is to be established, the purposes for which the funds thereof shall be applicable, and the conditions under which any member may become entitled to any benefit assured thereby, and the fines and forfeitures to be imposed on any member of such trade union.
3. The manner of making, altering, amending, and rescinding rules.
4. A provision for the appointment and removal of a general committee of management, of a trustee or trustees, treasurer, and other officers.
5. A provision for the investment of the funds, and for an annual or periodical audit of accounts.
6. The inspection of the books and names of members of the trade union by every person having an interest in the funds of the trade union.