The following article by Mike Kay overviews industrial activity in New Zealand in 2009 and summarises some of the highlights.
The Statistics NZ Survey of Working Life (March 2008) identified 30.1% of all employees as union members. Female employees were more likely to be union members than males (33.0% and 27.4%, respectively). Only 17.4% of casual employees were unionised. By industry, union membership was highest for those who worked in education (58.5%), health and community services (52.0%) and other services (42.8 %). Professionals (46.1%) and those who worked as plant and machine operators and assemblers in their main job (41.5%) had the highest level of union membership.
There has been a strong downward trend for work stoppages in the recent period, by every measure:
Although the year to June figures excludes a number of recent major disputes towards the end of 2009, they represent the lowest number of stoppages in 18 years. The transport, postal and warehousing industry was responsible for most stoppages, significantly ahead of the next most militant sector, manufacturing. Undeniably, we are still in the midst of a protracted downturn in the class struggle, although some notable exceptions to the trend may point the way to a revival of militancy in the coming year. Read the rest of this entry »