In country areas like Tāneatua in the Bay of Plenty work was scarce, and a job that fitted into a family’s routine was particularly valued. When a local company was taken to court for employing women on a factory night shift, there was near universal protest – the women themselves, their employer, their union, local and national women’s groups, and politicians all agreed that they should be able to work if they wanted to. When legislation outlawing women working nights in factories was first passed in the 19th century, it was an attempt to prevent exploitation of women workers, and strongly supported by many women. A century later, attitudes to working women had changed, unions were strong, and factory conditions had improved.
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New Zealand Herald
Reference: 12 May 1978
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