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Jagged Seas: The New Zealand Seamen's Union 1879-2
by David Grant

ISBN: 9781877257995
PUBLISHER: Canterbury University Press
FORMAT: Paperback
PAGES: 384
PUBLICATION DATE: 1.02.2012
DIMENSIONS: 229mmX152mm

DESCRIPTION:
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.

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