The Federal Governments upcoming assault on trade unions will meet resistance from some unlikely quarters, with non-members and Liberal Party voters agreeing bashing unions wont serve the nations interest.
The ‘sweeping industrial reforms’ planned by John Howard will hit in a
climate where voters of all political persuasions feel the economy is not
delivering for working families.
These findings are contained in the annual State of the Union report,
a major poll of 1,000 NSW workers earning under $60,000 conducted by
Auspoll for Unions NSW.
Among key findings are that an overwhelming 88 per cent of NSW workers
support the ongoing existence of unions, including 76 per cent of all non-union
members and 70 per cent of Liberal voters.
“It is clear that there is no ground swell of support for an agenda of
attacking trade unions,” Unions NSW secretary John Robertson says.
“This is important to understand and provides a counter balance to the
federal government’s claims that unions are an historical anachronism whose
passing should be a matter of universal joy.”
While unions have broad support there is growing disillusionment with the
political process and major parties, including:
the economy is going well, it is a struggle for working people to make ends meet
ensure that every worker earns enough to have a decent quality of life.and
Robertson says a vast majority of workers are crying out for some sort of
leadership, which allow them to gain a modicum of control over their destiny.
” I’m not saying the return to the central arbitration system – where
everybody’s conditions were pegged to the Metalworker Award is the answer.
” But I do question, whether their really is the thirst for more wholesale
deregulation and an outright attack on trade unions.”
The survey, designed to create a snapshot of working people in NSW, has been
conducted over the past ten years.
Key trend findings in 2005 include:
never been asked
In recent years, Unions NSW has extended its State of the Union report
to build a fuller picture about the attitudes of workers – and the differences
between different demographics of workers
These add to the picture built from our benchmark questions.
On general attitudes to work there a sense that the intensity and demands of
work are increasing:
stress on home life – with workers who are parents even more likely to agree
with the proposition
individual contracts are most likely to be working for free
Looking at attitudes of different groups of workers helps us build our
picture of the current state of the Australian workplace – and the impact
further labour market deregulation will have – more fully.
Without doubt, working parents – those juggling their jobs with family
responsibilities, are the group who currently feel the most vulnerable.
Anyone who has had a child will tell you it’s a life-changing event, a point
where they begging to feel their responsibilities as both a provider and
And the basis of this responsibility is secure employment:
is the one thing that labour market deregulation sets out to undermine in the
name of flexibility.
74 per cent of parents say their attitude to work changes.
three (34 per cent0 of parents say that due to work commitments they don’t give
their children the parenting they deserve;
education as they would like.
a drop in pay if they had the chance.
Younger workers don’t have the same life commitments, but many are keenly aware that what they are doing now matters in the long term.
The survey showed young workers breaking the stereotype of footloose,
transient workers, which the federal government often puts forward as the happy
beneficiaries of labour market deregulation.
The research suggested that most younger workers have a serious long-term
experience from other sources; but
As for older workers, who have lived through the changes of the past decade,
they have quite a complex take on the world of work.
Personally, they are worried:
when they want to;
get another one that is as good; and