We’re with you, at work
Who is the CWU?
The CWU is the Union for postal, telecommunications & broadband, call centre, information technology and pay-tv workers.
The CWU Central Branch represents these workers across NSW, ACT, QLD, SA and NT.
CWU Central Branch Officials are located across Sydney, Albury, Brisbane and Adelaide and visit every member workplace, in person, annually.
A Union is formed when a group of employees in a particular trade or industry come together to defend and advance their pay and working conditions, collectively.
The CWU advances the interests and defends the rights of its members across our covered industries. We provide members with support, advocacy and representation when negotiating with employers. Union affairs tend to be very time consuming and therefore full-time Union Officials are necessary to do the various jobs that must be done if a Union is to succeed in its aims.
The CWU is a strong, efficient and progressive Union, staffed by dedicated Officials experienced in dealing with management at all levels.
Our long, proud history
The CWU is the Communications Division of the Communications, Electrical, Electronic, Energy, Information, Postal, Plumbing and Allied Services Union of Australia (CEPU) – a national trade Union structured over three autonomous divisions, representing workers across the wider communications, electrical and plumbing industries.
The CEPU was formed in 1994 following an amalgamation of the Communication Workers Union of Australia (CWU), the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) and the Plumbing and Gasfitters Employees’ Union (PGEU/PTEU).
The CWU Central Branch was formed in 2022 following the consolidation of the NSW/ACT, QLD and SA/NT Branches of the Communications Division.
A timeline of our history:
1912 the Australian Letter Carriers’ Association and the Australian Telegraph, Telephone Construction & Maintenance Union (later known as the Australian Postal Linesmen Union of Australia) were both registered federally
1924 the Australian Letter Carriers’ Association changed its name to the Commonwealth Public Service Fourth Division Employees’ Union of Australia only to amalgamate a year later with the Postal Sorters’ Union of Australia and the Australian Postal Linesmen Union of Australia to form the Amalgamated Postal Linesmen Sorters’ & Letter Carriers’ Union of Australia
1926 the newly amalgamated Union becomes known as the Amalgamated Postal Workers’ Union (APWU), covering posties, mail sorters and telecommunications linesmen.
1974 the APWU merges with the Union of Postal Clerks and Telegraphists (UPT) to become the Australian Postal & Telecommunications Union (APTU)
1990 the APTU merged with the Australian Postmasters’ Association and later the Postal Supervisory Officers’ Association to eventually be known as the Communication Workers Union (CWU). The Australian Telecommunications Employee Association/Australian Telephone & Phonogram Officers Association [ATEA/ATPOA] and the Telecommunication Officers Association [TOA] later amalgamated with the CWU. The ATEA retained autonomy in a divisional structure, whilst the TOA merged with APTU originating Branches.
1994 the CWU had merged with the Electrical Electronic Plumbing & Allied Workers Union of Australia, the end product of a merger between the ETU and the PGEU/PTEU, to form the Communications Electrical Electronic Energy Information Postal Plumbing & Allied Services Union of Australia (CEPU)
2022 the New South Wales Postal & Telecommunications Branch, Queensland Divisional Branch and South Australia / Northern Territory Divisional Branch amalgamated to form the CWU Central Branch.
Our secure, autonomous structure
Today, the CEPU currently represents almost 100,000 workers, Australia wide, making us one of the largest trade Unions in Australia.
Through a Divisional structure, each Branch of the CEPU operates autonomously and maintains a close relationship with its members.
At an overarching National level, the Communications Division is represented on the Executive of the amalgamated CEPU through proportional representation.
The Communications Division of the CEPU is known under the Union’s Rules as the Communication Workers Union Division (or CWU Division) and is administered on a national level through a Divisional (National) Office.
The Divisional Officials and Executive are directly elected by the membership of all branches which belong to the Communications Division, nationally.
The CWU Central Branch is governed by it’s own Executive, the Branch Committee of Management, directly elected by the Branch’s members every four years – along with full-time elected officials as prescribed in the Union’s Rules.
The CWU Central Branch is affiliated to the following organisations:
- The Labor Council of NSW (Unions NSW);
- The Queensland Council of Unions (QCU);
- United Trades and Labor Council of South Australia (SA Unions);
- Union Aid Abroad (APHEDA); and
- the Australian Labor Party
The CEPU. nationally, is affiliated to the ACTU.
The Branch is administered centrally from Level 3, 81 George Street Parramatta NSW and operates satellite offices, with Officials based in Sydney, Albury, Brisbane and Adelaide.