As the peak national body representing members countrywide, the Australian Council Of Trade Unions (ACTU) has established a long history of "achievement on behalf of working Australians and the community".
Tradespeople, whether members of a union or not, will be aware of the impact of the ACTU on working conditions, workplace relations and law, as well as legislation, rights and entitlements for workers over its 80-year history.
Recent figures released by the Australian Bureau Of Statistics (ABS) show that trade union membership is remaining steady, according to the latest research which looked at numbers from August 2011.
People who were members of a trade union as part of their main job numbered 1.8 million, which represented an increase of 46,900 members from the previous 12-month period.
Two-thirds of these members had been members of a trade union for five years or longer - only 11 per cent had been members for less than a year.
There were 1.5 million employees who were not members but had been in the past - of these, 77 per cent had been taking a break from the union for five years or more.
Occupations with the highest male proportion of trade union members were machinery operators and drivers with 29 per cent of the majority - the female majority of 33 per cent was found within the professional group.