Labour History

Reassessing the Victorian Trades Hall ‘Split’ of 1967-73

Labour History (2009), 96, (1), 135–153.


The suspension of 27 unions from the Victorian Trades Hall Council (THC) from 1967 to 1973, colloquially referred to as the ‘split’, has long been regarded as a classic case of internal union conflict. Drawing on recent theoretical developments in the study of peak unions, this article seeks to provide a reassessment of this prevailing analysis by exploring dimensions of peak union power and purpose. Using the conceptual lens of collective union power and organisation power, the dispute between the unions and the THC leadership is re-examined. While these concepts enable more interrogation of the internal dynamics between the key participants, analysis of the dispute also locates it in the broader socio-political context of the period providing further insight into the nature of peak union power and purpose.

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Author details

Brigden, Cathy

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
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