Published: 28/03/2011

The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (NZCTU) has created a new organization – ‘Together’ – to expand union membership and influence by bringing workers from non-union workplaces into the trade union movement. The NZCTU and its affiliates are reaching out by offering membership in together to individuals at workplaces where there is no union and by signing up friends and family members of current union members.

Together, explains the CTU, was established “To provide New Zealanders who don’t belong to a trade union with the chance to be part of an organization that supports worker rights” by offering support to individual workers at their workplaces on issues including “disputes, health & safety, workplace bullying, employment agreements –  just about any issue that can cause problems in your job. Membership is available to all workers who are not in a unionized workplace, including contractors and part-time workers as well as full-time employees. You can stay a Together member even if you change jobs or stop working.”

Existing union members are encouraged to build Together through a a special rate for friends or family members who are employed in a workplace which is not organized

The union has set up a call center to educate and advise workers about their employment rights and to serve as a source of information on union activities and the benefits of union membership.

Together will not bargain on behalf of its members, but will  transfer them to the appropriate CTU affiliate for the industry or sector as part of building its affiliates’ membership and increasing the number of workers covered by collective bargaining agreements.

More information is available on Together’s website.