What we believe

Decent work and dignity

We believe that all people have the right to decent pay, safe and secure work, access to housing, education and healthcare and that empowering workers to organise and advocate for their rights is how we achieve this.

The power of the collective

In Aotearoa New Zealand we often take for granted minimum wages, the 40 hour week, accident compensation and equal pay for all, but these were fought for and won by union members, improving the quality of life for all of us.

Today, despite our world being richer than ever, over 400 million workers in Asia and the Pacific don’t enjoy the basics of a decent life.  Hard working people are forced into dangerous, poorly paid, and insecure work. As a result people are struggling to
support their families, keep their children in school and to access basic needs like healthcare.

This won’t change unless working people demand change. One person alone cannot change the unjust systems that sustain poverty. However, by joining together as a union, working people have the collective power to stand up and demand safe work, better wages and a life free of poverty.

This is UnionAID’s unique approach to development. When working people in our region take collective action for their rights, we are there to support them so that they have the resources they need to win their struggle and transform their lives.

Our values

We believe that all people have the right to decent pay, safe and secure work, and access to housing, education and healthcare. We work to achieve this by empowering workers to advocate for their rights. 

Bangladesh - Int. Sol. Nz. Rally .H&M - Copy


People everywhere share some basic needs in life.  A job that gives them dignity, to come home safe each day, a wage that gives their family a decent life and to come home safe each day.  In Aotearoa – New Zealand, in Asia and the in the Pacific working people are fighting for these rights we all deserve.  Workers are stronger when we stand in solidarity with one another, that’s how we create a better world for all.  

Tamil Nadu - Group 2 Bamboo Basket Weaving (3)

Social Justice

The causes of poverty are rooted in inequality that enables people’s rights to be ignored or suppressed by those who are powerful.  Poverty cannot be fixed through acts of charity but only through real change which addresses these underlying inequalities and ensuring that have equal opportunity and fair distribution of wealth. 

Thailand - workshop


When it comes to development and taking action, local people know what their communities need.  UnionAID’s projects are planned and run by organisations that are deeply rooted in their communities.  We support our partners to develop their own strategies, and help with funding so they have the resources they need to implement them.  Through union membership working people can take the lead in their struggle for social justice.  

Decent work in action