The Federal Government’s new legislation restricting right of entry to workplaces is supported by less than one in three people according to an exclusive Newspoll conducted for the Health Services Union.

The Newspoll of 1200 people, conducted between Feb 4 and 6, found that 30 per cent of people were in favour of the changes and 53 per cent of people were opposed to them.

HSU national secretary Craig Thomson said only 12 per cent of people were strongly in favour of the laws, compared to 31 per cent who were strongly against them.

“The fact that more than double the number of people who are members of unions oppose these changes confirms the view of unions and a vast majority of employers that there is no need for draconian restrictions on right of entry,” Mr Thomson said.

“Opposition is higher among people who are actually in the workforce with the figure for fulltime workers 57 per cent and part-time 56 per cent.

“It will only be employers looking to rip off their workers who will want to further restrict union right of entry. The government is interfering in workplace relations to assist its big business mates and stop people who choose to be union members from getting the full service they deserve.

“As we have stated in our submission to the Senate inquiry into this legislation the HSU like other unions makes tens of thousands of visits each year to workplaces without complaint.

“Those routine visits help ensure workers are receiving their full entitlements, allow problems to be rapidly addressed, identify potential safety hazards and help in the implementation of workplace change that boosts productivity.”

“Changing the law is more likely to harm productivity, increase disputes and safety problems especially in the critical health sector.”

“This government is in the pocket of big business

“It certainly has no mandate for the further reforms it is preparing. It did not present them to the people. Instead it produced a vague policy with little detail.”