Collection Highlights for February
26 February 2021
The Waterfront strike of 1951
In 1951, waterfront workers went on strike from February to July over work conditions and financial hardship. It was New Zealand’s biggest industrial dispute; there was state of emergency declared, on February 27 troops were sent to operate the docks, strict censorship was imposed and it was an offence to assist strikers. After 151 days, ‘Wharfies’ conceded defeat on July 15. Macmillan Brown Library holds a wealth of resources on Trade Unions, such as these on the Waterfront dispute, from the archives and published collection that document the history of struggles, conditions and politics for workers in Aotearoa.
Featured here for our collection highlight this month are archives from the McNulty papers (MB550, references 38594 & 40182) and April 13, 1951 issue of the New Zealand Transport Worker from the published collection.
Explore our archive and art collections in our catalogue, Kā Kohika.