In this cartoon from the New Zealand Graphic of 1894 an angelic William Pember Reeves, minister of labour in the Liberal government, attempts to unite an employer and a worker, both highly suspicious, behind the principle of compulsory conciliation. Reeves was largely responsible for the Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act, which he copied from South Australian legislation. The act required unions to register and for both parties to negotiate rather than resorting to strikes and lockouts. If they could not agree, a process of compulsory arbitration followed. This policy became widely implemented in Australia, and was an example of the type of reform which Pember Reeves wrote about in his survey, State experiments in Australia and New Zealand.
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Alexander Turnbull Library
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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