Union membership numbers shows why Labour fail in polls

Mr C is always going to fail in his bid to return Labour into government because he talks to the wrong people and has connected with the people who have put him there and not the people who drive the country.

The biggest failure of the leadership rules in the Labour Party is that the minority picks the leader.

For round numbers, that is 30 people in caucus (40%), unions (20%) and a final bunch of people who have the ability to vote twice even three times. It is therefore not the party of the people but a party for the activists.

To prove my point, his first two major speeches were directed at the unions, why – Labour needs the cash flow via party donations. If you actually look at what percentage of the NZ population below they represent – it is a minority.  

Observation by the Owl

2013 Union membership figures show that 16.6% of the work force belong to a union. That means 83.4% of NZ don’t give a damn about unions because either they are irrelevant and also very expensive to join.

Break that number down further and of the 371,613 union members a huge 234,790 work for the government (almost compulsory unionism by the PSA, Teachers and Nurses Union).

Given that pay equality and living wage are not really an issue in government as 73% of the 234,790 are women – that leaves Mr C with a very narrow base of supporters. Only 6.1% of private sector employees belong to the unions and wait for it – 46,787 are involved in manufacturing.

Manufacturing and economic indicators are all at 10 year highs.

So the question is – how is Mr C. going to get 94% of private sector employees who are really happy in their jobs and are not interested in joining unions (the founding voice of the Labour Party) to vote Labour?

(Interestingly enough Union Fees will equate almost to the same amount of managers fees Winston Peters was talking about in Kiwi Fund – will Winston create a Union Fund?)


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  • JC

    Yet 30% + will vote Labour at the next election, 5-15% will hold their noses and vote Green because they dont like National or Labour, the oldies and a surprising number of Maori will vote Winston.

    You are right that the unions are irrelevant to much of the population but they aren’t voting unions.. they are voting their interests in benefits of one sort or another plus their prejudices in Asians, privatisation, foreign investment, their victim mentality and greater Govt involvement in their lives.

    Taken as a whole the Left has a formidable base and support and a raft of grievances to motivate it going into the 2014 election.


  • Toryboy

    A man works in factory, protected by his union masters; earns a low wage, engages in the ‘6 o’clock swill’, staggers home to bash his wife and children; demanding his dinner.

    According to the Unions and Labour party this is a “decent salt of the earth good bloke maaate”; as such for several decades they conspired to ensure this sort of thing continued indefinitely – preservation of Neanderthals.

    I cannot for the life of me wonder why 94% of the population doesn’t want to join a Union and be like that?!?!

    • unitedtribes

      Long time since we had a 6 o’ clock swill. Used to enjoy them myself

  • john Doe

    Yep. Delete the PSA, teachers and nurses and the total union membership is 150,000 and falling. The age of unionism is long gone..a dinosaur thrashing its self to bits.

  • Kimbo

    Unions = A handbrake on productivity.

  • Pissedoffyouth

    Well once you achieve your goal of a 40 hour week and not having dangerous equipment kill you sewing shoes you do tend to not be needed any more

  • Whafe

    The day Labour accepts that Unions are a curse and a handbrake, they will be half way there… Sadly it isn’t going to happen, Labour needs their dirty money…

    But the amount of money is not enough….

    As we know, Labour, the gift that keeps giving…..

    • johnbronkhorst

      Please remember, now and throughout their history.
      Labour are the political wing of the unions.
      The unions are the support wing of the labour party.
      It is an important distinction, that is why the unions are desperate to get labour back in!!……They need a labour govt. to reintroduce compulsory unionism, to get their power back. To the unions parliament is simply a means to and end. That end is to get ultimate power in the hands of the unions!
      Read your Marx and you will understand!

      • Whafe

        Understand, but it is not going to happen, nor can it. The world has changed and the support wing of Labour hasn’t changed, now has the Labour Party…

        It is a failed experiment…..

        • johnbronkhorst

          Socialism has failed in all it’s guises and every attempt to implement it and keep it has required violence and military persecution. BUT people like ardern and hipkins still quote Marx and labour still have followers.
          Vigelence and sterilising sunlight are the only answers…OH sorry the proved success of National (in NZ) and other right leaning and thinking parties the world over will be the final death of socialism!

  • James Growley

    When I was employed by HMG, I knew of several colleagues who had the misfortune to be unjustly accused for the actions of others and consequently dismissed. You would have expected the union to go into bat for these members, but no, it was conveniently put in the too hard basket and the union “helped them through the process.”

    • captainnotsosensible

      The only time I’ve ever seen a union achieve anything that requires unified agreement was during strikes for pay rises…and even those only achieve minor raises and were supported mainly by the workers with lowest productivity…

      • Whanga_Cynic

        and never make up for the wages lost during the strike, well not for years, anyway.

        • captainnotsosensible

          Ha ha yes! .

          I just cannot get my head around the mentality of ” ok, I need more $$ ,,,how should I do that? Increase my value for the co? Work harder? Supervise others? Make suggestions for improvements? …nah, I think I’ll stop work and try to cause my company to grind to a halt, miss fulfilling orders, and piss off my boss”

  • Col

    I see Felton wants an 8 hour day, saying we work to many hours.
    Well I can tell you this Felton, people who work more than 8 hours want to get on in life, they are not interested in being given a hand out by WINZ, those who work less than 8 hours, are most likely getting a hand from WINZ.
    I work around 60 hours a week so I can have a better life.
    Felton I would suggest you take the time and tidy yourself up, the days of looking like you do, finished 50 years ago, shout yourself a Makeover, and you can get a face lift ( and the rest of you) real cheap in one of those third world countries, even if it doesn’t turnout ok it will be a hell of an improvement.
    8 hour day wake up girly!!!