Cartoon: The Pitiful Plight of Labor in New Zealand

The Pitiful Plight of Labor in New Zealand

Will Hope

The Labour movement was divided by different philosophies and tactics during the Liberals’ final years in power. Favouring an independent Labour Party, the weaker craft unions worked through the Liberals to reform the arbitration system; unions belonging to the more militant Federation of Labour, formed in 1909, were committed to forcing better wages and working conditions through direct industrial action.