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Auckland Operative Footwear Society Union


Administrative history

The Auckland Operative Bootmakers’ Union was established in 1883 and registered under the Trade Union Act in 1886 (Verran, 1994). It registered under the Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1894 as the Auckland Operative Bootmakers’ Society in 1895 (Harbridge 1994), a name it retained until 1965. Its first award dated from 17 July 1899 (Verran, 1994), and by this time it had affiliated with the New Zealand Federated Boot Trade Union which covered bootmakers’ unions in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch in Dunedin. The federated body was called the New Zealand Federated Footwear Trade Association by 1983. (Harbridge, 1994, p.119).

The years following the 1890 Maritime Strike were difficult for unions, and after the bootmakers had been defeated in one of the longest strikes in New Zealand history lasting from March to September 1891, the union was forced to accept a 12.5 % reduction in wages. (Roth, 1981, p.47).

The union changed its name to the Auckland Operative Footwear Society Union in 1965 (minutes 19 May 1965). In May 1989 the Auckland Operative Footwear Society, Wellington & Taranaki Footwear Operatives, Canterbury, Westland, Nelson & Marlborough Footwear Operatives, and Otago/Southland Footwear Operatives merged to form the New Zealand Footwear Workers’ Union. (Harbridge, 1994, p.41)


Verran, D. (1994). Working class heroes. Auckland, N.Z.: D. Verran. Roth, H. (1973). Trade unions in New Zealand past and present. Wellington: Reed Education. Harbridge, R. & Hince, K. (1994). A sourcebook of New Zealand trade unions and employee organisations. Wellington: Industrial Relations Centre, Victoria University of Wellington.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Auckland Operative Footwear Society Union records.

Identifier: MSS Archives-2005/3
Content Description

Minute books and correspondence.

Dates: 1903 - 1981