What We Do

For a Better World

Decent work, with wages and conditions that enable us to live in dignity, is a basic human right. We can’t sit by while millions of people in our Asia-Pacific region are denied this right. 

We are committed to supporting action by working people in neighbouring countries to build unions, provide skills training and take collective action that improves their lives. Together we will empower working people in our Asia-Pacific region to achieve a life free of poverty.

How We Work

We invest the money we raise into partner organisations in developing countries with the experience, courage and knowledge to build the collective power of vulnerable working people.  Partners identify their priorities and solutions and we support them through funding, advice and monitoring to ensure that projects deliver real change for working people.  

Building Unions

Unions provide working people with the collective power to negotiate decent wages and conditions to improve their livelihoods. New Zealand's unions have fought for the working rights we benefit from, and men and women in developing countries deserve those same rights.​

Skills training

Skills training increases job opportunities and earning potential. Our projects support women, migrants and minorities to gain new vocational skills so they can get decent work and safely support themselves and their families.

Creating Cooperatives

Establishing local co-operatives enables small scale farmers, street vendors, cleaners and other groups of working people to collectively make and sell their products, improving their incomes and sustainability. We have supported Dalit and Tribal workers in India to form co-operatives, increasing their incomes and breaking dependency on money lenders, middle men and landlords.

Empowering workers

Participation in democratic, worker-led organisations empowers people whose work is not formally recognised to advocate for better pay, job security, and better prospects for themselves and their peers.

Shaping Young Leaders

With funding from the NZ Aid Programme, UnionAID has provided 122 young community leaders from Myanmar, East Indonesia and Mindanao (southern Philippines) with the unique opportunity to learn about democracy, human rights, gender justice, Te Tiriti o Waitangi and community development here in Aotearoa.

Our Success

For more than ten years we have worked with our partners to build grass roots movements for justice and decent work.  Achieving real change is challenging work, but our projects have directly improved the working and social conditions of thousands of working people across the Asia-Pacific region. 

working people benefiting from vocational skills training
more men and women organised in unions
members of new cooperatives increased their incomes

Stories from our partners

Myanmar Unions Growing

When UnionAID was established in 2009 trade unions were illegal in Myanmar.  Our friends in the Federation of Trade Unions of Burma (FTUB) like Min Lwin and Htwe Nge lived

Read More »