Today in Labor History

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Archive for the tag “new zealand”

November 12, 1912

November 12In the middle of a bitter six month-long strike in the small New Zealand gold mining town of Waihi, striking miner Fred Evans dies after being severely beaten by scabs and police who stormed the miners’ hall, at the time defended by Evans and just two or three other men. Each year, a commemorative service is held at Evans’ grave in Auckland’s Waikaraka Cemetery.

August 25, 2006


 In response to the company’s closure of several distribution centers and its practice of re-hiring of laid off workers at lower pay, members of the National Distribution Union in New Zealand begin a 48-hour strike of Progressive Enterprises’ grocery distribution centers for a national contract, pay parity, and wages. The company responded by locking out the workers for nearly a month before settling on September 21.

October 22, 2012


It’s Labour Day in New Zealand.  The origins of Labour Day go back to the eight-hour day movement in that country that began in 1840 when carpenter Samuel Parnell refused to work a longer day.  “We have twenty-four hours per day given us; eight of these should be for work, eight for sleeping, and the remaining eight for recreation and in which men do what little things they want for themselves,” Parnell said.  Fifty years later, the anniversary of the eight-hour day was commemorated with a parade and then celebrated annually thereafter.

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