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Their direct action protest was a success, and they are noted as being among the first organised workers in the world to achieve the eight-hour day with no loss of pay.
It took further campaigning and struggles by trade unions to extend the reduction in hours to all workers in Australia.
The Commonwealth Arbitration Court gave approval of the 40-hour five-day working week nationally beginning on 1 January 1948.
During 1856 the Melbourne Trades Hall Committee was formed and received a grant of land to build the Melbourne Trades Hall, which was completed in 1859.
Craft unions in Australia began in the early 19th century as craft associations of highly skilled urban workers who sought to organise (form a labour union), to increase their low wages and decrease their high number of hours.
By 1902, the Master and Servant Act 1823 had been modified to include forfeit of wages if the written or unwritten contract for work was unfulfilled.
As little as one hour’s absence by a free servant without permission could precipitate a punishment of prison or the treadmill.
Initially, following British laws, trade unions in Australia were suppressed, particularly under the Combination Laws of 17.
Trade unions in Australia may be organised (i.e., formed) on the basis of craft unionism, general unionism, or industrial unionism.