Unite Union

Last updated

NZUnite logo.png
Full nameUnite Union Inc.
Affiliation NZCTU
Key people
  • Tom Buckley
  • Gerard Hehir
  • Heleyni Pratley
  • Michael Treen
Office location Auckland, New Zealand
Country New Zealand
Website unite.org.nz

Unite Union (Unite) is a trade union in New Zealand. It represents a number of workers across various industries, and was the sponsor of the Supersizemypay.com campaign directed towards improving working conditions for fast food workers in the country, in addition to representing other hospitality and retail workers. [1] Unite is affiliated with the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions.



In mid 2003 a small group of trade unionists and activists attempted to "organise the unorganised". It began to focus on unionising workers predominantly from fast food, cinema and security.

In response to the Key Government's amendment to the Employment Relations Act 2000 allowing small businesses greater liberty to 'hire and fire' workers in the first 90 days, Unite established the 'Rat Patrol' to name and shame companies that abuse the legislation. [2]

Matt McCarten's United Support Services, a company he formed to supply support services to the union, was placed into liquidation on 17 June 2011 owing $92,000 in unpaid taxes to the IRD. [3]

In 2015 Unite engaged in the End Zero Hours campaign, primarily aimed at securing minimum guarantees of hours in union collective employment agreements. [4] The campaign was ultimately successful with the National Government passing legislation outlawing "zero hour contracts". [5]

It was the inspiration for the former Australian UNITE Union, which was founded in Melbourne in 2003.

Former Unite Union headquarters in Auckland. Unite union New Zealand.jpg
Former Unite Union headquarters in Auckland.

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  1. Beat the brands: SuperSizeMyPay part one Archived July 24, 2011, at the Wayback Machine , Unity journal, June 2006, pp12-26
  2. "Unite holds 'Rat Patrol' in Aotea Square". Television New Zealand . Newstalk ZB. 28 February 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
  3. Matt Nippert (17 June 2011). "McCarten's Unite liquidated" . National Business Review.
  4. "Celebrations after McDonald's ends zero hour contracts". 1 May 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  5. "Time's up for 'zero-hour' contracts". www.business.govt.nz. Retrieved 26 November 2017.