Story: Strikes and labour disputes

Number of registered unions

Number of registered unions

The number of trade unions in New Zealand has varied dramatically as labour laws have changed. From a tiny total in the 19th century, the number reached a peak of 500 in the late 1930s, when union membership became compulsory. Unions dropped to a 20th-century low of fewer than 100 after compulsory unionism was abolished in 1991 by the Employment Contracts Act, before rising slightly again following the repeal of the Act in 2000.

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How to cite this page:

Mark Derby, 'Strikes and labour disputes - Wars, depression and first Labour government', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/graph/20492/number-of-registered-unions (accessed 28 May 2022)

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