Story: Strikes and labour disputes

First Labour Day procession, Dunedin

First Labour Day procession, Dunedin

With banners flying over floats representing their various trades, Dunedin unionists parade through the Octagon on New Zealand’s first official Labour Day, in 1890. The annual Labour Day parade began as an occasion to demonstrate the strength and aims of the union movement, but by the early 20th century it had lost much of its significance. In most countries the first day of May, May Day, is the annual holiday celebrating the union movement. New Zealand unions are increasingly following this tradition, but Labour Day remains a public holiday.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: 1/2-024830; F

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How to cite this page:

Mark Derby, 'Strikes and labour disputes - Early labour disputes', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/artwork/20469/first-labour-day-procession-dunedin (accessed 21 February 2020)

Story by Mark Derby, published 11 Mar 2010, updated 1 Mar 2016