Story: Unions and employee organisations

Registered unions, 1860–2007 (1st of 2)

Registered unions, 1860–2007

The number of registered unions peaked at 499 in 1937, after the first Labour government made union membership compulsory. The number then dropped to around 200. After 1991, when membership became voluntary under the Employment Contracts Act, it fell even further, to the lowest total in more than a century. When a new Labour government repealed the act, the number of unions rebounded to around 180.

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How to cite this page:

Erik Olssen, 'Unions and employee organisations - Reviving the unions, 1890–1913', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 26 June 2022)

Story by Erik Olssen, published 11 Mar 2010