Solidarity to rebuild unions

-Daphna Whitmore

During the 1990s under the National government union membership fell by 50 percent. In 2000 just after Labour came in to office 69 percent of the public sector workers were covered by collective agreements and 21 percent of workers in private sector jobs.

Did that situation improve during nine years of “a worker-friendly government”, as the CTU leadership describe Labour?

Not at all. This year 59 percent of public sector workers have collective agreements, and a mere 10 percent of private sector workers.

The table below shows the grim reality.


And while the public sector collective agreement coverage declined, it is still significantly higher than the private sector.

A really serious trade union movement would look at assisting the private sector through subsidies from the much better off public sector. We need a union movement that takes the interests of the whole of the working class. That’s the sort of solidarity that would help build up unions in the private sector, which is where exploitation of the working class originates.

One Response to Solidarity to rebuild unions

  1. Paul Drake says:

    Hi Daphna; Thanks for bringing this subject up it was just last week I heard on the radio that Business NZ want the government to scrap collective agreements altogether!!!

    I couldn’t agree with you more, a responsible union movement should look at the overall welfare of the working class and I thought that was the roll of the Council of Trade Unions. Am I correct?

    Correct me if I am wrong ,but it seems to me that at this present time the capitalists are launching a vicious attack on workers rights and the CTU has failed to respond!!

    HELLO!! has anybody out there read, heard or seen a reaction from the CTU!!!!

    Yours Respectfully

    Paul D

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