The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) is the largest peak body representing workers in Australia. It is a national trade union centre of 46 affiliated unions representing about 1.8 million workers  . The ACTU was formed in 1927 as “The Australian Council of Trade Unions” and as stated in its consitiution, their objectives are:
- The socialisation of industry;
- Organisation of wage and salary earners in the Australian workforce (within the trade union movement);
- The utilisation of Australian resources to maintain full employment, establish equitable living standards which increase inline with output, and create opportunities for the development of talent. 
STATISTICS – TRADE UNION MEMBERSHIP
In August 2008, there were 1.8 million employees who were trade union members in conjunction with their main job. This was a 3% increase on the 1.7 million trade union members in August 2007, however in both years, trade union members represented 19% of people who were employees in their main job.
Data collected about trade union members in August 2008 also showed:
- 21% of full-time employees and 15% of part-time employees were trade union members
- 42% of public sector employees were trade union members, compared to 14% of private sector employees
- the state with the highest proportion of trade union members was Tasmania (25% of Tasmanian employees), while the lowest was Western Australia (14% of Western Australian employees).
The occupation groups with the highest proportion of employees who were trade union members in their main job were Machinery operators and drivers (28%), followed by Professionals (25%) and Community and personal service workers (23%). The occupation group with the lowest proportion of trade union members was Managers (9%).
Employees in main job, Industry of main job, By trade union membership-Proportion of all employees who were trade union members
Employees in the Education and training industry group had the highest proportion of trade union membership (40%), followed by Public administration and safety (34%). The industry group with the lowest proportion of trade union membership was the Professional, scientific and technical services industry (4%).
Source: ABS 6310.1 
1. Membership info from Website
2. Wikipedia.org – Australian Council of Trade Unions
3. 6310.0 – Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership, Australia, Aug 2008 Quality Declaration
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