- Trade Union
The Victorian Branch of the Australian Railways Union (ARU), in contrast to many other male unions, did not encourage female rail workers to set up a separate section. In 1920 the Victorian Railways commenced employing women in sizeable numbers mainly as waitresses, barmaids, laundresses and cooks at various city and country railway stations. At this time, the Refreshment Services Branch was established with the introduction of new machinery into railway administrative offices, however females began to perform clerical work traditionally done by better-paid men. During World War II women began working in positions traditionally reserved for men. The Union participated in the Council of Action for Equal Pay, a body formed in 1937 to further the interests of female workers, as well as contributing to the Australian Council of Trade Union organized conferences on equal pay held in April and September 1942. Women paid junior rates for their union fees until equal pay was achieved.