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Trade Unions

By T. Bramble and S. Heal


With 282,00 members in 1945, 683,000 in 1985, and 375,000 members in 1994, trade unions have been the single most significant mass institution in New Zealand society throughout the post-war era. They remain, therefore, the best organisations in a position to give voice to workers\u27 industrial and political concerns at workplace and national levels. This chapter considers the continued relevance of trade unions and their strengths and limitations, both theoretically and in practice. The chapter starts with a theoretical discussion of the role of unions as organising institutions and of union officials as bargaining agents who are both part of the labour movement but also separate from the working class. The second section turns to the practice of New Zealand unionism since 1945. Particular attention is paid to the political strategies pursued by employers and union officials, culminating in an analysis of the industrial and political paralysis which has gripped the leadership of the Council of Trade Unions (CTU) since its foundation in 1987

Topics: Trade unions, New Zealand, Labour history, political economy, 350203 Industrial Relations, 150306 Industrial Relations
Publisher: Auckland: Oxford University Press
Year: 1997
OAI identifier: oai:espace.library.uq.edu.au:UQ:10639

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