The Unemployed Workers Movement (UWM) was created out of a social awareness for the political, economic and social circumstances that the unemployed were forced to face.
The Unemployed Workers' Movement Anti-Eviction Committee protesting the eviction of a women and her family of 5 children. Their home was located on Norfolk St, Ponsonby, Auckland. This protest took place in 1931. Many people of the committee attended evictions to protest during the Depression era
The UWM was formed in 1931; this formation was after two national conferences that were held to encourage the movement. The UWM would be considered a ‘left-wing’ organisation. The New Zealand UWM was composed on the ideologies of the British UWM, which had been established in 1921. The British union stood for being a trade union for those who were unemployed and a voice for society through political protest. The New Zealand UWM wanted to model themselves after the British Union. The New Zealand UWM was able to state their anger over the Government’s inadequate schemes and how they are not benefiting their society. Those that composed the UWM were usually left-wing communist leaning people. Even though the Government did not count women as officially unemployed, this did not stop women from participating in women committees, their own version of UWM. At the beginning of 1932 the UWM had become an effective movement with members up to 13,000. Not only did the UWM oppose the Governments rule but other organisations such as the Labour Party and trade unions for not doing enough to help fix the issues that the depression has caused and for letting the people suffer. By 1932 this movement had continued to grow and members started to plan public scale protests. They protested when people started to be evicted from their homes. The UWM began to voice their issues in a form of protests, which manifested into riots