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About SFWU

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SFWU members

Many faces, one union

Members help to build strength

SFWU - a democratic union

Organising out in front

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a union?

Why should I join?

What do unions do?

For more info about the SFWU and becoming a member click on the links below:

Sectors and Industries


Member Benefits


SFWU Members are the Union

We are working men and women who have joined together in SFWU to win a better life at work, in our communities and for all of society.

You meet us every day. We do important work in both the public and private sectors. We cook, clean and care for others. We keep our hospitals and schools safe and clean and we manufacture and process food. We work in the front line of tourism from the airline check-in counter to the hotel room. We work in theatres, offices, call centres, helpdesks and casinos. We care for our elderly and we do vital work in the community and for voluntary organisations.

You will find us in every city, in small and large towns and in every corner of Aotearoa, New Zealand.

We're building our union with active members!

Many Faces - One Union

Our strength is our diversity. We are women and men of all ages, all religions and ethnic and racial backgrounds, but we are one union. We are working people with diverse origins, languages, sexual orientation and physical abilities, but we have the same goal - to be treated fairly and with respect at work and in our communities.

SFWU's constitution provides special recognition for Maori, women and Pacific Island representation, with places on all of the union's decision-making bodies.

These and other networks, such as the Youth Union Movement (YUM) and the Queer network provide forums for us to get together and ensure our voices are heard.

Join a SFWU network for a voice and action!


SFWU Members Help Build Strength

SFWU has a history and culture of activism, which sets us apart from the crowd.

Members help build our union's strength by getting involved - through election as a delegate or to office, through activist networks, union activities and campaigns, or by joining SFWU's Member Organiser team.

SFWU's member leaders reflect our diversity and are supported and developed through education programmes, conferences and workshops.

Help build a bigger and stronger union!

SFWU - a Democratic Union

SFWU members run their own affairs at national, regional and district levels. We elect our own delegates and union officers, we vote on the policy and direction of our union and we have the final say on collective agreements.

The union's governing bodies - the National Executive and the Regional Executives make sure that all parts of our union are working to strengthen SFWU for everyone and that members issues are being heard and acted upon.

Each Executive is made up of elected members from each region and within regions, from each industry group. Women, Pacific Island and Maori representatives have positions on each E xecutive.

SFWU members help others be active too!

SFWU - Organising out in Front

SFWU is an organising union, where we all work together to improve the lives of working people and their families - at work, in our communities and for a better and more just society.

We are united by our determination to strengthen and grow our union ensuring that SFWU can meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world, in order to win on the job and in our industries.

SFWU is organising out in front, building our strength and size for a better future - to expand our voices at work, in our communities and in the political arena.

SFWU is a dynamic and exciting union, being built by people for people, who have come together to fight for a better life. By all of us uniting in SFWU, we have the power to make a difference.

Living Wage

Latest SFWU Nga Ringa Tota News

Government attacks on lowest paid just keep on coming
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Labour Minister Ignores Call for Consultation On Minimum Wage
“The Minister of Labour has arrogantly ignored the concerns of unions and low-income... more...

Government report boasts about measures National plans to axe
Government report boasts about measures National plans to axeThe union which represents some of the... more...

A few cents won't send workers into rock star economy
"Today's minimum wage increase will make little difference to hard working New Zealanders living on... more...

TPPA will make life worse for low-paid workers
"The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement will not make low-paid workers' lives better," said... more...