Story: Strikes and labour disputes

The angel of arbitration

The angel of arbitration

A gloomy, kneeling employer and a suspicious pipe-smoking worker are united by an angelic William Pember Reeves, the driving force behind the Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1894. Reeves was then New Zealand’s minister of labour and of justice, and after the devastating effects of the 1890 maritime strike he was determined to protect the labour movement. His act required all unions registered under it, and their members’ employers, to negotiate instead of striking, and to accept the decision of a state-sponsored arbitrator if they couldn’t agree.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: A-312-8-005
Cartoon by Ashley Hunter

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Mark Derby, 'Strikes and labour disputes - The Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 16 July 2024)

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