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New Zealand Amalgamated Carpenters and Joiners and Joiners' Machinists Union, Auckland Branch records.

 Collection
Identifier: MSS &-Archives-D-7
Minutes of meetings and reports of the Auckland Branch of the union, together with miscellaneous copies of British and Australian building trades union publications. Associated materials: MSS & Archives D-31.

Dates

  • 1954 - 1960

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Not restricted.

Extent

0.15 metre (1 box)

Biographical / Historical

This fragmentary collection of records of the Auckland Branch of the New Zealand Carpenters’ Union relates to the period in which much effort was made to re-unite Auckland carpenters with the national union, from which they had been separated in 1949.

During late 1948 and early 1949 the Auckland Branch of the New Zealand Carpenters and Joiners and Joiners’ Machinists Union, led by the Communist Roy Stanley, were involved in an industrial dispute over payment for travelling time and basic wage rates. In February 1949 the Union instigated a go-slow against employees who cut travelling time allowances or failed to pay the minimum wage carpenters felt they were entitled to. This resulted in a lock out by employees and by the beginning of March 1949 between 1500 and 2000 carpenters had been locked out by employees. On the 23 March the Minister of Labour intervened and deregistered the Carpenters’ Union within a 56-mile radius of the Auckland Central Post Office. At this time all records and assets of the Auckland Branch were transferred to the Hamilton Branch of the national union.

By late March the employers were supporting the establishment of a scab union to cover the deregistered area. Although the Federation of Labour (FOL) conference passed a resolution pledging non-recognition of the new union, the Auckland Trades Council urged the men to join the new union. Then the Government forced the issue when it passed Clause 21 of the Finance Act, 1949 which limited an award to part of an industrial district. This clause deprived the carpenters within the 56-mile radius of the existing award without disturbing the rest of the Auckland provincial district. The men, therefore, had to join the registered scab union in order to come under the award once again. This union was registered as the Auckland (56-mile radius) Carpenters and Joiners and Joiners’ Machinists Industrial Union of Workers.

During the late 1950’s efforts were made to incorporate the 56-mile radius union into the national organisation and on 30 January 1959, the national union and the Auckland union cancelled their registrations, and on the same day a new union was registered; the New Zealand (except Otago and Southland) Amalgamated Carpenters and Joiners and Joiners’ Machinists Industrial Union of Workers. In a further step towards unity in the building industry, this union’s registration was cancelled on 11 February 1960 and on the same day the New Zealand (except Otago and Southland) Carpenters, Joiners, Joiners Machinists and Plasterers and (except Auckland) Bricklayers and Related Trades Industrial Union of Workers was registered. In 1967 the union again changed its’ name to the more succinct New Zealand Carpenters and Related Trades Industrial Union of Workers.

Arrangement

The collection was originally arranged and described by Michael Coleman in 1972.

In 2009 and 2010 as part of work on all of the McAra collections, the original inventory for MSS & Archives D-7 was updated and the collection re-housed into acid free folders and boxes.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

These papers were donated in 1969 by Wilfred (Bill) McAra as part of a larger donation of records which included papers relating to McAra’s work with the Wellington Branch of the Amalgamated Carpenters and Joiners Union and the New Zealand Building Trades Federation.

Related Materials

The University of Auckland also holds the following collections which relate to the Auckland Branch of the Carpenters’ Union:

MSS & Archives D-31, New Zealand (except Otago and Southland) Amalgamated Carpenters and Joiners and Joiners’ Machinists Industrial Union of Workers. Auckland Branch, records, 1935 – 1968.

MSS & Archives 92/1, New Zealand Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners and Joiners’ Machinists Industrial Union of Workers. Auckland District, further records, 1873 to 1986.

MSS & Archives D-45, New Zealand Amalgamated Carpenters and Joiners and Joiners’ Machinists Industrial Union of Workers. Minutes of conferences, 1959 – 1966.

  • Roth, H.O. (Bert Roth), 100 years fighting back: the story of the Auckland Carpenters’ Union, 1873-1973. Auckland, Published for Auckland Branch, N.Z. Carpenters’ Union by The Old Mole, 1973.
  • Fighting Back, [1949 film by Cecil Holmes and Rundall Hayward] Auckland, New Zealand: Hayward Historical Film Trust, 1993. (tells of the industrial relations problems of 1948, involving the carpenters Union, Drivers, Railwayman and Waterside workers.)

General

For opposing, contemporary views on the 1949 carpenters’ dispute see:

New Zealand Federation of Labour, The History of the carpenters’ dispute, 1949, communist activities exposed. Wellington, Standard Press, 1949.

Stanley, Roy. Fighting back! The true story of the 1949 carpenters’ dispute. Auckland, Forward Press, 1950.

Fighting Back [videorecording], Auckland, New Zealand:Hayward Historical Film Trust, 1993. (1949 film by Cecil Homes and Rundall Haywood).
Title
Inventory of the New Zealand Amalgamated Carpenters and Joiners and Joiners' Machinists Union, Auckland Branch records.
Author
M.D. Coleman
Date
1972
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English

Revision Statements

  • November 2011.: Input into the Archivists' Toolkit by Katey Weizel

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections, The University of Auckland Repository

Contact:
5 Alfred Street
Private Bag 92019
Auckland 1142 New Zealand