About us

The RTBUWA is a part of the National RTBU and as such represents the latest face of a history of advocacy and representation in the rail and public transport industries.

Though we are always looking forward and building for the future, we are proud of our history and present a short summary here of the legacy we hold.

For detailed information on the two main Branches of the RTBU, operating in WA, click through on the right.


The Rail, Tram and Bus Union was created in 1993 through the amalgamation of four of Australia’s oldest unions:

  • the Australian Railways Union (ARU);
  • the Australian Federated Union of Locomotive Enginemen (AFULE);
  • the National Union of Railway Workers (NURWA); and
  • the Amalgamated Tramways and Motor Omnibus Employees Association (ATMOEA).

Amalgamation brought together the great majority of railway workers for the first time in one united union. The new union was also a powerful working-class advocate for public transport, as it also unified rail workers with the government sector bus and tram employees across the country.

The new union was originally called the Public Transport Union, but the name was changed in 1998 to Rail Tram & Bus Union because of the impact of privatisation on the union’s identity.

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