A trans-Tasman community: organisational links between the ACTU and NZFOL/NZCTU, 1970-1990
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This thesis explores the ties between the Australian and New Zealand peak trade union organisations, the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) and the New Zealand Federation of Labour (NZFOL) and its successor, the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (NZCTU) from 1970 to 1990. The parameters for this study define a period in which unions faced an increasingly unstable industrial relations climate and an integrating world economy as globalisation shifted priorities for government and business from the worker to the consumer. This set of circumstances challenged the leaders of the union organisations to develop and evolve their links, confirming a 'trans-Tasman union community'. Underpinned by a common labour market and models of state development the organisations sought to understand the globalising world from a joint perspective acknowledging their shared economic and industrial circumstances. This led to the development of united leadership over international issues, civil rights and trans-Tasman relations. The Australasian industrial relations models diverged in the 1980s and the ACTU and NZFOL/NZCTU reacted by transferring policy across the Tasman in an attempt to develop innovative responses to manage the rise of the New Right.