Workers around Australia will have a say in shaping a better future for Australia’s workforce and their families by taking part in the largest ever national survey of workers which opens today.

ACTU President Ged Kearney has launched the Working Australia Census 2011 at the Queensland Council of Unions’ annual Labour Day parade in Brisbane.

“The Working Australia Census 2011 is a unique opportunity for workers to have a say about their priorities to help shape the union movement’s agenda for many years to come,” Ms Kearney said.

“Labour Day is an opportunity to reflect on our past, to take stock of our present and to plan for our future.

“Just as Labour Day is a celebration of the eight-hour working day and all that unions in our past did to secure this right, it is also a time for us to acknowledge the eight hour day has now distorted to the point many of us are actually working longer and harder than ever before.

“And that brings us to the future and to why we are launching the Census.

“We know that when we act together as one, Australia’s two million union members can achieve great things.

“In recent years, unions have restored their rights at work, won a national system of paid parental leave, and we’re fighting for more superannuation and better and more secure jobs.

“Every day, unions are active in workplaces around Australia protecting rights and winning better wages and conditions for our two million members and millions of other workers.

“We need to continue drawing on the energy and ideas of our members, and the Working Australia Census 2011 will directly engage with workers around their priorities.

“This survey is a true collaboration of all Australian unions under the umbrella of the ACTU.

“It will help shape future policy and campaign priorities. It will help to identify future activists.

“And ultimately it will help shape a better Australia for our workforce and for their families.

The survey will be open to all workers throughout May and June. Every union member taking part in the census will be eligible to win a $1000 prize.

The survey is available online at

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