A new poll has revealed that for the first time since the series began in 2012, half of all Australians believe Australian workers would be better off with stronger unions.

A further 3 out of 4 Australians believe unions provide essential services to ensure members are paid properly, have a safe working environment and provide a strong collective voice.

The peak body for working people in Australia has welcomed the results, saying they are a reflection of the crucial role unions have played during the pandemic, and the important role unions play giving workers a voice.

Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:

“This research tells us that Australians know who has their back – not just in the workplace but also during a national economic and health crisis.

“Unionised workers have steered the country through this pandemic and will continue to play a leading role in the economic rebuild.

“Australian unions fought for and won the JobKeeper wage subsidy and the increase to the JobSeeker payment.

“We continue to campaign for paid pandemic leave and proper workplace safety regulations to keep all workers safe as the economy reopens.

“And we will be holding big business and the government to account throughout the economic rebuild.

“We are working to win more secure jobs and fairer wages.

“The pandemic may pass, but some in the business lobby have made clear they want to make pay cuts permanent. We won’t allow pay cuts to further punish young people, women and be a drag on the living standards of working people. 

“Pay cuts and cuts to workers’ rights will not help Australia recover. They will just make this crisis last longer and deeper while people at the top reap the profits.”