Jack Hutton describes his early childhood growing up on Rita Island in North Queensland. He recalls the tough living conditions he faced growing up in the economic depression of the 1930s.
Jack Hutton talks about receiving an apprenticeship with the railways in Townsville, Queensland, at the age of 15.
|apprenticeships, Queensland Rail, Townsville, World War II|
Jack Hutton explains how he first became interested in unions while working as a railway apprentice. He talks about his membership with the Boilermakers Union, and his role as a delegate for the Boilermakers and Blacksmiths Union to the Trades and Labour Council of Townsville.
|Amalgamated Metal Workers Union, apprenticeships, Boilermakers and Blacksmiths Union, Townsville, Trades and Labor Council|
Jack Hutton discusses some of the issues he dealt with as a member of the Townsville Trades and Labor Council. He describes the relationship between the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and the Trades and Labor Council, particularly in relation to the annual Labour Day March and Picnic.
|AMIEU, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Railway Union, Seamen's Union, Trades and Labor Council, Waterside Workers Federation|
Jack Hutton discusses his work for apprentice rights during the Joh Bjelke-Petersen era, his election to the Apprenticeship Board, and his application for the role of Welfare Officer.
|apprenticeships, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, union positions|
Jack Hutton talks about attending the World Congress of People for Peace in Vienna, Austria, in 1952. He explains the consequences this trip had on his career.
|Alec Dowling, Alex Macdonald, Communism, George Kellaway, Glen Fingleton, Joe Chandler|
Jack Hutton talks about his work on the Burdekin Bridge, which spans the towns of Ayr and Home Hill in North Queensland, and his efforts to ensure safe working conditions on the site.
|Burdekin Bridge, workplace safety|
Jack Hutton discusses his relationship with unionist Jack Egerton and his conflict with Vince Gair (Queensland Premier 1952-57).
|Boilermakers and Blacksmiths Union, Burdekin Bridge, Communism, Jack Egerton, Vincent Gair|
Jack Hutton recalls the union officials who impressed him most in his career. He comments on the place of communism in Queensland in the 1950s.
|Alex Macdonald, Burdekin Bridge, Communism, Gerry Dawson|
Jack Hutton speaks about his return to the railways following the opening of the Burdekin Bridge, and the reputation of the Trades and Labor Council.
|Queensland Rail, Trades and Labor Council, Waterside Workers Federation|
Jack Hutton describes his role as an unpaid official in the Trades and Labor Council, and comments on the way in which some trade unionists would use their position to further their own political aspirations.
|Amalgamated Metal Workers Union, Boilermakers and Blacksmiths Union, Communism, Tom Barton, Trades and Labor Council|
Jack Hutton reflects on his relationship with unionist Fred Thompson and Thompson's reputation in the union movement more widely. he discusses the laws and authority of the railways.
|Fred Thompson, Queensland Rail|
Jack Hutton describes some of the campaigns and strikes that took place amongst the railway workers.
|Fred Thompson, Queensland Rail, union campaigns|
Jack Hutton discusses some of the most stressful incidents he dealt with during his time in trade unions. These included strikes, funeral attendance, and dealing with security.
|Boilermakers and Blacksmiths Union, union positions|
Jack Hutton discusses the regular demarcation disputes between the Amalgamated Engineering Union (AEU) and the Boilermakers and Blacksmiths Union.
|AEU, Boilermakers and Blacksmiths Union, demarcation disputes, Fred Thompson|
Jack Hutton comments on his contact with Indigenous workers during his career, and makes particular reference to his memories of Eddie Mabo.
|AMIEU, Bill Irvine, Communism, Eddie Mabo, Frank Bishop, Indigenous issues|
Jack Hutton discusses his attempts to employ more Indigenous apprentices at the railways.
|apprenticeships, Indigenous issues|
Jack Hutton describes the campaign for the 38 hour week and the 9 day fortnight. He talks about his dealings with Wayne Goss (Queensland Premier 1989-96) and the negotiations that were undertaken to achieve the new working hours.
|Goss Government 1989-96, union campaigns, Wayne Goss|
Jack Hutton comments on what he sees as the differences between North Queensland unionism and the rest of Queensland. He discusses the achievements of unions that are now taken for granted.
|demarcation disputes, North Queensland, unions|
As a delegate for the Boilermakers and Blacksmiths Union (later the Amalgamated Metal Workers Union), from 1951 until his retirement in 1991, trade unionist Jack Hutton was the longest serving Trades and Labour Council member in Australia.
Jack Hutton grew up on Rita Island in North Queensland during the Depression. In 1944, at the age of 15, he secured an apprenticeship with the railways in Townsville. His union involvement began through his membership with the Boilermakers Union (later known as the Boilermakers and Blacksmiths Union, and then the Amalgamated Metal Workers Union). As an apprentice, Hutton saw first-hand what he describes as the ‘raw deal’ that railway employees got, and this motivated him to want to make a change through union involvement.
Coming out of his apprenticeship in 1950, Hutton was made an executive member of the Boilermakers Union, and in 1951, Hutton joined the Townsville Trades and Labour Council as a delegate. Remaining a member of the Trades and Labour Council until his retirement in 1991, Hutton became the longest serving Trades and Labour Council member in Australia. During his career Hutton also held a place on the Apprenticeship Board, where he fought for apprentice rights during the Joh Bjelke-Petersen era, was secretary of the Boilermakers and Blacksmiths Union during the 1960s, and was an Organiser for the Amalgamated Metal Workers Union following its inception in 1972.
During his time as a trade unionist Hutton dealt with a number of worker-related issues, including the improvement of working conditions on the railways and other sites such as the Burdekin Bridge, apprentice rights, the Labour Day March, the campaign for the 38 hour day, settling demarcation disputes, and the move for the employment of more Indigenous apprentices on the railways.
Jack Hutton retired from the Trades and Labour Council in 1991, and became a Senior Volunteer for Queensland Rail Heritage.
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