What does the union do?

Union endeavours to protect and represent the interests of workers in a number of ways – through its representative group, the 1 (NZCTU), and on an individual union basis, the union movement lobbies government to pass laws to protect workers’ rights in regard to industrial relations, occupational health and safety, workers compensation.

Representation of Workers

The most important job the union does, is to protect the rights of its paid members by appearing in courts and other tribunals including the Employment Relations Authority.This effectively is the ‘Safety Net’ provided to every member for a deserving case.

Increase in wages which occur from time to time (and which some people think are given by the government) are actually fought and argued for in the Industrial Commission by the NZCTU for the people it represents, the New Zealand Union Movement.

In fact, present day work conditions, payment conditions and safety conditions enjoyed by workers, are the result of the union movement fighting for those conditions in the workplace over the decades of successful representations to government and other relevant bodies.

Why join us?

The most obvious benefit of belonging to a union is that of being together. It is extremely difficult to achieve success as an individual -- a collective group is much more likely to succeed.

As members would have opted for experienced and forceful representatives, you can be assured that your case is well researched and put forward by the Union. Having contributed to the Union you will be in a position of security should the occasion arise that you have a genuine personal grievance with your employer and you will also be supported in those cases by your fellow workers. Each negotiated collective agreement has procedures to follow in these circumstances.

Union members are entitled to group scheme discount health insurance through Christchurch-based Unimed which has branch offices in all main centres, and a local representative will visit your workplace on request.

AIL of New Zealand Ltd offers Union members $1,500 of free life insurance cover, and also has a range of policies for you to purchase. Details are available from your Union Office.

Larger plant sub-branches may also operate welfare schemes with sickness and death benefits. Your Union delegate will be able to advise you on these.

Some Branches and Sub Branches arrange with local business houses for a reduction in the purchase price of goods and your local Union Office will have details of this.

Recently the Union has begun a series of Training Seminars for delegates to provide a better insight into Employment Law and advice on handling day-to-day problems with immediate supervisors and management.

Collective Agreements

Present employment law allows unions and employers to enter into Collective Agreements which must be ratified by members. By being in the Union you can have your say on your wages and conditions and enjoy the benefits of the agreements.


Superannuation agreements subsidised dollar-for-dollar by employers exist in many of our Union-negotiated agreements. We encourage members to take advantage of these.