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Jagged Seas: The New Zealand Seamen's Union 1879-2003

ISBN: 9781877257995
Authors(s): David Grant

About Jagged Seas: The New Zealand Seamen's Union 1879-2003:

From humble beginnings in 1879 until the time it merged with the Waterside Workers' Union in 2003 to become the Maritime Union of New Zealand, the New Zealand Seamen's Union played an integral and essential role in this country's seafaring industry. Labour historian David Grant traverses the huge changes that have occurred in the working lives of seamen, and union practice, through these years. He portrays a union that was assertive and volatile but always steeped in never-ending struggle to win jobs for its members and to better their lives, which were often grim, particularly in the early years. The Seamen's Union was integrally involved in the country's biggest industrial disputes - in 1890, 1913 and 1951. In these and lesser quarrels class solidarity became a byword for its existence, hewn by decades of collective struggle with kin unions against the forces of capital - alongside participation in political struggles such as opposition to the Vietnam war, nuclear ship visits and apartheid in South Africa. Nonetheless, Grant eschews the labels 'militant' and 'irresponsible', which are often levelled at the union, instead arguing that the union has in fact been moderate and considered in all of its political and industrial activity.

First Published (if available):
No of pages: 384
Published as: Paperback
Genre: History: Specific Subjects

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