About Your Union

An introduction to the AMIEU

The AMIEU takes this opportunity to introduce itself to you. The AMIEU has a lot to offer its members and we ask you to take a moment to read through our website to discover why the AMIEU is the only Union for anyone working in the meat industry: whether in an abattoir, poultry shed or in the retail sector. When you become a member of the AMIEU, you will join other members in helping to support each other in the workplace. By supporting each other around issues of common concern it becomes easier to respond to the bigger challenges as a collective group.

When we are united in common purpose we can have a much greater influence on our working conditions and our issues will be taken much more seriously.

I strongly encourage you to join the AMIEU today and assist us in protecting your rights at work today and into the future.

Matt Journeaux
QLD BRANCH SECRETARY

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History of the AMIEU

Please read an excerpt from a souvenir booklet “100 Years of Struggle & Change” published in 1989 – the AMIEU Queensland Branch’s Centenary Year – outlining some of the history of this great and proud Union.  A Union, which at the launch of this new website in 2014, is now entering its 125th year!

“100 Years of struggle & change

Long hours and low wages for a six-day week compelled shop butchers to form the Brisbane Butchers Employees Union in late 1888 and early 1889. It quickly found support from butchers in country areas in south Queensland and changed its name to Brisbane District Butchers’ Union. It disappeared in the big anti-union onslaught after the defeat of the early nineties.

After several attempts, it was finally revived in 1906. It based itself on the workers in the export industry which had grown and expanded in the preceding decade. A primitive form of unionism already existed in individual meatworks, where workers elected committees to negotiate with the employer for the wages and conditions for the season. By 1910, a state-wide union, covering all sections of the industry, had been built on solid foundations.

This centenary booklet outlines some of the highlights in the growth of the industry and the union. It tells of the struggle against the harsh and gut-wrenching work in primitive conditions and how the workers by solidarity and unity won better conditions. Our union has a proud history.

For over 100 years, AMIEU has protected the industry from falling standards and unfair conditions

From the hardships, the defeats and victories, meatworkers—men and women—have developed a unique form of comradeship and mateship. The democratic form of organisation, which of necessity emerged in the sheds before the union existed, has been jealously preserved.

The pioneers of our union were staunch and true unionists, often beaten, but never conquered. This centenary (1989) year, we honour them and express our deep gratitude for their efforts and sacrifice. Today we enjoy conditions which were won after long and bitter struggles.

This small contribution is dedicated to our pioneers and to record our union’s proud past for future generations.”