CTU MEDIA RELEASE
27 October 2006
Widespread Union Campaigning Behind Record Union Membership Jump in 2005
“The record union membership growth in 2005, in particular in the private sector, is the strongest signal yet that workers are choosing to organise collectively in unions to get a better deal at work,” CTU secretary Carol Beaumont said.
Victoria University of Wellington’s annual survey of union membership released today showed an increase of 23,290 union members in 2005.
“Union numbers have increased by 75,000 since 1999. Last year’s growth of 6.6% is the strongest since the survey started in 1991, and union density is at its highest level since 1998, at 21.9 %,” Beaumont said.
“Highly effective union campaigns such as ‘Fair Share in 05’ have been delivering more power to workers on the job. They are voting with their feet and are increasingly confident of joining together in unions to improve wages and conditions.”
“The challenge for the union movement remains in the growth industries in private sector services, and 2006 has seen a concerted effort by unions in industries like fast food and supermarkets.”