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Auckland Cutters’, Trimmers’, Pressers’ and Other Clothing Employees Union records.

Identifier: MSS-Archives-D-1

Scope and Contents

Primarily correspondence of the Union and papers related to other clothing unions. Amongst the papers in this collection are membership enquires and lists, correspondence with members regarding wages and conditions, representations on behalf of members to the Department of Labour and Employment, and letters of condolence. There is also correspondence relating to Arbitration Court proceedings and cases put before the court by the Union, and the affiliation of the Union with the New Zealand Federated Clothing Trades Employees’ Industrial Association of Workers.


  • 1936 - 1963


Conditions Governing Access

Not restricted.

Administrative History

Formed as the Auckland Cutters' and Pressers' Union in 1909, the union included workers responsible for cutting patterns, fabric for garments and workers employed to press garment linings and finished items of clothing. In the mid 1940s the union changed its name to the Auckland Cutters', Trimmers', Pressers' and Other Clothing Employees Industrial Union of Workers. In 1964 the Union amalgamated with the Auckland Tailors Union forming the Auckland Tailors', Cutters', Trimmers', Pressers, and Other Clothing Employees Industrial Union of Workers. Prior to this amalgamation Auckland had a separate union for tailors who made bespoke garments and another for tailoresses.

During the period 1936-1963 the Union had two secretaries, William Sleeman Moxsom from 1917 until his death in 1945 and Denis Brophy from 1945 until at least 1963.

William Moxsom (ca1860-1945), an active trade unionist was also the secretary of the Auckland Tailors’ Union, 1917 to 1945, the Auckland Flour Mill Workers’ Union, 1929 to 1945, the Auckland Hatters’ Union, 1936 to 1945 and the Drycleaners and Dyers’ Union, 1936 to 1937. Like Moxsom, Denis Brophy was also secretary of the Auckland Tailors’ Union and the Hatters’ Union a fact that accounts for the presence of correspondence belonging to both unions in this collection.


0.3 metres (2 boxes)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was donated to the Library in 1969 by Wilfred (Bill) McAra a trade unionist, member of the New Zealand Communist Party and enthusiastic collector of records relating to trade union activities. There is some debate as to how these papers came into McAra’s possession: it is rumored that he found the material discarded in rubbish bins outside the Auckland Trades Hall.

Related Materials

The University of Auckland, also holds the minutes of both the Auckland Tailors’ Union and the Auckland Cutter’s, Trimmers’, Pressers’ and Related Clothing Employees Industrial Union of Workers (see MSS & Archives Vault 74 and 75), which were donated to the University during the 1980s when many smaller unions were amalgamated.

In addition other items of correspondence can be found among Wilfred McAra’s own papers in MSS A-139; including correspondence between the Union and the Auckland Trades Council (MSS & Archives A-139, item 5/22) and the World Peace League (MSS & Archives A-139, item 11/43).

Inventory of the records of the Auckland Cutters’, Trimmers’, Pressers’ and Other Clothing Employees' Union records, 1936-1963.
Katherine Pawley
December 2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections, University of Auckland Repository

5 Alfred Street
Private Bag 92019
Auckland 1142 New Zealand