Labour Day parade

Labour Day parade

Labour Day float, Wellington, 1916.

On Labour Day workers took to the streets bearing union and workplace placards. Some, such as the staff from the Government Printing Office in Wellington in 1916, marched behind floats specially decorated: 'Ye Old Order Changeth Yielding Place to the New' is written at the top of the cart pictured.

The industrial unrest and defeat of unions in the early 1910s had reduced the emphasis on labour solidarity that had once characterised the floats and processions. By the mid-1910s, the focus had moved towards patriotism and militarism; the Printing Office float carries a mixture of labour slogans and patriotic flags.

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