Labour History: A Journal of Labour and Social History

Creating Labour’s Space: The Case of the Melbourne Trades Hall

Labour History: A Journal of Labour and Social History (2005), 89, (1), 125–140.

Abstract

In the wake of the achievement of the eight-hour day in 1856 by building trades unionists in Victoria, attention shifted to the pursuit and construction of a Trades Hall. This claiming of space, the creation of labour’s space, is explored in this paper. Drawing on the work of geographers, in particular debates about space, this analysis aims to extend our understanding of the spatial dimensions of peak bodies by reassessing the historical significance of the Trades Hall building for the Victorian union movement. The paper begins by examining the impetus for the building, before exploring its significance in embedding the union movement into the colony’s built environment, while the final section explores the annual eight-hour day celebrations as another space-claiming strategy of colonial unionists.

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Author details

Brigden, Cathy

Table of Contents

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