By Locke, Cybele
'Marginalised' workers of the late twentieth century were those last hired in times of plenty and first fired in times of recession. Often women, Maori, or people from the Pacifc, they were frequently unemployed, and marginalised within the union movement as well as the labour fo...rce. WORKERS IN THE MARGINS tells the story of these workers in the tumultuous years of post-war New Zealand. These were years characterised by massive changes in the workforce, as it expanded to accommodate a growing urban Maori population and an increasing desire for women to enter paid work. The world of trade unions and employment conflicts, such as the 1951 waterfront lockout, was vigorous and challenging. As free market policies deregulated the labour market and splintered the union movement toward the end of the century, Te Roopu Rawakore o Aotearoa, the national unemployed and beneficiaries' movement, gave a new voice to 'workers in the margins'. The people of this history come to life through oral histories - from the poet (and boilermaker) Hone Tuwhare building a palisade at Orakei through to activists Sue Bradford and Jane Stevens working with the unemployed in the 1980s and '90s. Their experiences speak to the lives of many workers of the early twenty-first century.Read more
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Cybele Locke is a graduate of Otago and Auckland universities, who has published widely on labour history. Currently a full-time parent, she was a participant in the activist movements of the late twentieth century.
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