This May Day marked the 10th anniversary of UnionAID – a special milestone for the New Zealand union movement’s international development charity.
UnionAID was founded by a group of passionate volunteers after they witnessed unions in India and Burma struggling for justice, better wages, and decent conditions for working people. Thanks to its donors in New Zealand, including E tū, UnionAID has been able to provide solidarity and support which has helped change thousands of lives.
That includes projects like the unionising of domestic workers, street cleaners and overhead tank operators in the southern Indian city of Madurai. They are among the many workers to see their work formally recognised with higher pay, and for the street cleaners and tank operators, access to social services for the first time in their lives. Many are now able to save a little, enabling them to plan a better future for their families.
This shows the power of collective action to lift working people out of poverty. UnionAID looks forward to extending this support to more working men and women over the next ten years.