Wallace Trohear discusses his early education in Dundrum in Northern Ireland, as well as his first job as an apprentice carpenter with Joseph McClune & Son builders.
|apprenticeships, Northern Ireland, work experience|
Wallace Trohear talks about his father's occupations and union involvement as a delagate for the Transport and General Workers Union in Northern Ireland.
|Northern Ireland, unions|
Wallace Trohear speaks about the conditions of his first job as an apprentice carpenter, where he worked a 49 hour week on a 31 shillings per week wage.
|apprenticeships, Northern Ireland|
Wallace Trohear reflects on his first exposure to the union movement in Northern Ireland, and how he came to join the Building Workers Industrial Union (BWIU) on his arrival in Australia.
|apprenticeships, BWIU, Northern Ireland|
Wallace Trohear discusses what he sees as some of the similarites and differences between the Irish and Australian trade union movements, as well as the experience of his first week of work in Australia in September 1973.
|asbestos, BWIU, Hugh Hamilton, Kevin Loughlin, Northern Ireland, strikes, unions, workplace safety|
Wallace Trohear talks about the unions he has belonged to in his career. He also discusses the history of BWIU, and the amalgamations which took place within it.
|BWIU, Northern Ireland, union amalgamation|
Wallace Trohear explains how he became active in the union movement in Brisbane, Australia, through his nomination to the Brisbane local branch committee of the BWIU.
|Bob Anderson, Brisbane, BWIU, Frank Dawson, Gerry Dawson, Hugh Hamilton, Jack Sherrington, Joe Harris, Kevin Loughlin, Tom Chard|
Wallace Trohear discusses his career with the BWIU including his role as Education Officer, which he was appointed to in 1977, and as an Organiser from 1980.
|Bob Anderson, BWIU, Communism, Gold Coast, Henry Ergas, Hugh Hamilton, Peter Callaghan, union delegate, union positions, Vietnam War|
Wallace Trohear talks about being appointed to the role of assistant secretary of the Queensland BWIU in 1983, and the changes he enacted in the union through that position.
|BWIU, Hugh Hamilton, union delegate, union membership|
Wallace Trohear discusses the issue of superannuation in the building industry.
|ACTU, BUSSQ, Des Hodgman, Garry Weaven, Hugh Hamilton, Master Builders Association, Queensland Confederation of Industry, superannuation legislation, Work Choices|
Wallace Trohear speaks about the campaign for portable long service leave in the Queensland building and construction industry.
|Bjelke-Petersen Government 1968-87, BWIU, construction industry, long service leave, Master Builders Association, Queensland Confederation of Industry, Wayne Goss|
Wallace Trohear discusses workplace health and saftety, and the hazards of working in the building and construction industry.
|construction industry, workplace safety|
Wallace Trohear talks about the introduction of an industry training levy, and the increase of apprenticeships in the building industry.
|apprenticeships, Bob Martin, BWIU, construction industry|
Wallace Trohear explains his role in reforming the Building Services Authority's policy on builder registration.
|board management, Building Services Authority, Greg Quinn, Housing Industry Association, Master Builders Association, Scurr Inquiry|
Wallace Trohear talks about other issues he has faced during his time in the union movement, including the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC), the highly competitive nature of the building industry, and wage disputes. He also talks about his relationship with the Master Builders.
|Australian Building and Construction Commission, BWIU, industrial disputes, Master Builders Association, unions, workplace safety|
Wallace Trohear speaks about the importance of raising workers' consciousness about issues in the building and construction industry.
|construction industry, industrial disputes, multiculturalism, unions|
Wallace Trohear reflects on the SEQEB dispute, and the notion of solidarity among the building and construction unions.
|BWIU, CFMEU, ETU, Hugh Hamilton, SEQEB dispute, strikes, union solidarity|
Wallace Trohear discusses the issue of militancy within the building unions, and recalls a dispute over the building of Riparian Plaza in Brisbane.
|BLF, BWIU, Gordon Nuttall, industrial disputes, Master Builders Association, Multiplex, Peter Beattie, union militancy|
Wallace Trohear recalls a dispute over working hours, and the push for building workers to have one day off per month.
|industrial disputes, Master Builders Association, union campaigns|
Wallace Trohear talks about the high levels of suicide in the building and construction industry.
|BUSSQ, Griffith University, Master Builders Association, suicide|
Wallace Trohear explains the programs put in place to raise suicide awareness in the industry, including Mates in Construction and the Workplace Intervention Program.
|Chris Stanley, Jorgen Gullestrup, Mates in Construction, Plumbers Union, suicide|
Wallace Trohear discusses the other issues which Mates in Construction and the BERT Fund provide aid for, such as work and financial problems. He also speaks about superannuation.
|BUSSQ, Master Builders Association, Mates in Construction, superannuation legislation|
Wallace Trohear talks about his and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union's (CFMEU) reaction to the 2001 Royal Commission into the Building and Construction Industry.
|CFMEU, Cole Royal Commission, Kevin Reynolds, suicide|
Wallace Trohear reflects on the nature of workplace health and safety in the building and construction industry, and the use of strike action.
|construction industry, industrial disputes, strikes, workplace safety|
Wallace Trohear speaks about the primary role of unions as an organisation to represent and empower workers, and explains why it is that people join a union.
|CFMEU, Cole Royal Commission, union membership, unions|
Wallace Trohear compares the union movement in Denmark with the union movement in Australia, and notes differences in the level of government intervention.
|Cole Royal Commission, enterprise bargaining, Howard Government 1996-2007, Master Builders Association, unions|
Wallace Trohear discusses the future of unionism, and notes that he feels optimistic about its direction.
|Cole Royal Commission, community unionism, unions|
Wallace Trohear describes what he sees as his greatest achievement during his time in the union movement.
Wallace Trohear explains that he has no great regrets from his time in the union movement.
|BWIU, Work Choices|
Wallace Trohear reflects on the role of the trade union movement in society, and is proud of what it has achieved.
Trade Unionist Wallace Trohear was a member of the Building Workers Industrial Union (amalgamated into the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union in 1991) from 1973 to 2006. During that time he held a number of key positions in the union, including Queensland State Secretary of the BWIU, then CFMEU, from 1987-2006.
Wallace Trohear was born in Newcastle, County Down, Northern Ireland, on 20 November 1948, and subsequently moved to the nearby village of Dundrum where he lived until the age of 24. Trohear was educated at Down High in the town of Downpatrick, before leaving at the age of 15 to enter a five year apprenticeship as a carpenter with local building firm Joseph McClune & Son.
Trohear’s first exposure to the union movement was as a member of the Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners in Ireland. Upon moving to Australia in 1973, he joined the Building Workers Industrial Union (BWIU), and his first role was as a member of the Brisbane local branch committee. In 1977 Trohear took up the role of Education Officer, which he held for two years. After leaving the BWIU for a short time, Trohear returned as an Organiser in 1980. He was elected as Assistant Secretary for the union in Queensland in 1983, and in 1987 Trohear became State Secretary.
During his time in the union movement, Trohear dealt with a number of issues and worked for many campaigns in the building and construction industry. These included long service leave, superannuation, shorter working hours, suicide awareness, workplace health and safety, industrial disputes, and presenting testimony to royal commissions.
Following his retirement from the union in 2006, Trohear continued to sit on a number of industry boards and committees including Mates in Construction and BUSSQ Building Super.
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