Perceptions of trade unions

Jun 16, 2020

Q. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements about the role of unions in the workplace?

  TOTAL: Agree TOTAL: Disagree Strongly agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree Unsure
Unions provide essential services to their members to ensure they are paid appropriately and have safe working environments 74% 11% 34% 40% 8% 3% 15%
A union gives workers more power with employers through a collective voice 74% 12% 34% 40% 9% 3% 15%
Unions provide advice and services to which members would otherwise not have access 70% 13% 30% 40% 10% 3% 17%
Unions are vital to stop businesses taking advantage of their employees 67% 16% 34% 33% 12% 5% 16%
Unions that insist on minimum qualifications and training create a highly-skilled workforce 64% 15% 27% 38% 11% 4% 20%
               
Unions are too politically biased 62% 19% 30% 31% 12% 7% 19%
Union protection makes it difficult for employers to discipline, terminate or even promote employees 58% 24% 25% 33% 18% 6% 18%
Unions add an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy for businesses 49% 33% 21% 28% 22% 11% 18%
Unions are corrupt 47% 30% 19% 28% 18% 12% 23%
Employment law and regulations mean unions are no longer needed 41% 40% 16% 26% 25% 15% 19%
  • There was higher agreement with statements pertaining to positive perceptions of unions than negative. 74% agreed that ‘Unions provide essential services to their members to ensure they are paid appropriately and have safe working environments’ and ‘A union gives workers more power with employers through a collective voice’.
  • 62% agreed that ‘Unions are too politically biased’ and over half (58%) agreed that ‘Union protection makes it difficult for employers to discipline, terminate or even promote employees’.

Better or worse off with stronger unions

Jun 16, 2020

Q. Overall, would workers be better off or worse off if unions in Australia were stronger?

  June

2020

October

2015

February

2014

May

2013

September

2012

A lot better off 18% 17% 21% 14% 13%
A little better off 31% 28% 24% 29% 26%
A little worse off 14% 12% 11% 14% 15%
A lot worse off 10% 14% 16% 15% 15%
Unsure / Makes no difference 27% 30% 28% 26% 30%
TOTAL: Better off 50% 45% 45% 43% 39%
TOTAL: Worse off 24% 26% 27% 29% 30%
Base (n) 1,087 1,012 1,051 1,050 1,035

 

    Federal Voting intention
  Total Labor Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other  
A lot better off 18% 24% 12% 20% 22%  
A little better off 31% 40% 28% 29% 25%  
A little worse off 14% 9% 19% 16% 13%  
A lot worse off 10% 7% 15% 8% 10%  
Unsure 27% 19% 25% 27% 30%  
TOTAL: Important 50% 65% 40% 50% 47%  
TOTAL: Not important 24% 16% 34% 24% 23%  
Base (n) 1,087 334 412 96 140  

 

Attitudes towards unions

Dec 10, 2019

Q. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements about unions?

  NET: Agree NET: Disagree Strongly agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree Unsure
Union officials should be disqualified for breaching administrative laws such as failing to file annual financial reports 68% 18% 30% 38% 13% 5% 14%
The government seems to be more concerned about the actions of union officials than the CEO’s of banks and other corporations 62% 24% 29% 34% 18% 6% 14%
Union officials should be disqualified for taking unprotected industrial action, such as snap strikes 51% 32% 20% 31% 22% 10% 17%
Overall unions have too much power in Australia today 49% 37% 18% 31% 24% 13% 14%
  • Two-thirds of participants agree that ‘union officials should be disqualified for breaching administrative laws such as failing to file annual financial reports’ (68%) and 62% agree that the government seems to be more concerned about the actions of union officials than the CEO’s of banks and other corporations.
  • Half of participants agree that union officials should be disqualified for taking unprotected industrial action, such as snap strikes (51%) and 49% agree that overall unions have too much power in Australia today.
  • Capital city residents are more likely than non-capital city residents to agree that overall unions have too much power in Australia today, with 53% of capital city and 41% of non-capital city residents agreeing with the statement.
  • Broadly, Coalition voters and those over 55 years old were most likely to agree with statements that are more negative towards unions.

Most important election issues

Apr 22, 2014

Q.  Which are the three most important issues in deciding how you would vote at a Federal election?

 

Total

22 Apr 14

 

Vote ALP

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Grn

Vote other

 

23 Jul 13

30 Jul 12

6 June 11

25 Jan 10

Management of the economy

54%

43%

75%

22%

44%

45%

64%

61%

63%

Ensuring a quality education for all children

27%

35%

18%

38%

20%

25%

26%

26%

23%

Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system

50%

54%

43%

62%

52%

42%

47%

49%

48%

Protecting the environment

13%

12%

7%

42%

14%

12%

11%

15%

16%

A fair industrial relations system

12%

17%

11%

8%

12%

10%

12%

8%

na

Political leadership

15%

11%

24%

6%

13%

21%

25%

17%

23%

Addressing climate change

10%

13%

4%

28%

9%

11%

9%

15%

16%

Controlling interest rates

9%

9%

11%

2%

7%

13%

9%

13%

15%

Australian jobs and protection of local industries

37%

39%

37%

18%

37%

39%

41%

32%

33%

Ensuring a quality water supply

4%

5%

3%

3%

5%

3%

3%

5%

12%

Housing affordability

17%

18%

16%

13%

19%

17%

13%

16%

14%

Ensuring a fair taxation system

20%

19%

20%

9%

23%

20%

18%

17%

14%

Security and the war on terrorism

5%

3%

8%

3%

5%

8%

5%

8%

9%

Treatment of asylum seekers

8%

5%

5%

32%

9%

14%

10%

5%

na

Managing population growth

9%

6%

10%

8%

16%

9%

8%

12%

na

54% of people surveyed rated management of the economy as one of their three most important issues, followed by 50% ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system, 37% Australian jobs and protection of local industries and 27% ensuring a quality education for all children.

Main changes since this question was asked last July – management of the economy up 9%, ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system up 8%, political leadership down 6% and treatment of asylum seekers down 6%.

Party trust to handle issues

Feb 11, 2014

Q.  Which party would you trust most to handle the following issues?

 

Labor

Liberal

Greens

Don’t know

 

Difference 11 Feb 14

Difference 19 Nov 13

Management of the economy

27%

46%

2%

25%

-19

-26

Ensuring a quality education for all children

39%

32%

5%

25%

+7

+2

Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system

35%

33%

6%

26%

+2

-1

Protecting the environment

17%

22%

37%

23%

+15

+14

A fair industrial relations system

37%

32%

3%

28%

+5

+2

Political leadership

26%

39%

4%

31%

-13

-23

Addressing climate change

20%

25%

28%

27%

+3

+5

Controlling interest rates

25%

42%

3%

30%

-17

-21

Australian jobs and protection of local industries

34%

32%

4%

30%

+2

-7

Ensuring a quality water supply

20%

30%

21%

29%

-10

-13

Housing affordability

28%

30%

5%

37%

-2

-6

Ensuring a fair taxation system

29%

35%

4%

32%

-6

-11

Security and the war on terrorism

23%

39%

3%

35%

-16

-22

Treatment of asylum seekers

20%

36%

15%

29%

-16

-18

Managing population growth

21%

32%

8%

38%

-11

-19

Note – Differences are calculated by subtracting Liberal % from Labor % – except for the two issues on which the Greens lead in which case it is Greens minus Liberal.

The Liberal Party is trusted more to handle management of the economy (-19), controlling interest rates (-17), security and the war on terrorism (-16) and treatment of asylum seekers (-16). The Labor Party is trusted more to handle a quality education for all children (+7) and a fair industrial relations system (+5).

Since this question was asked in November, the Labor Party has improved its position on all issues – especially political leadership (up 10%), Australian jobs and protection of local industries (up 9%), managing population growth (up 8%) and managing the economy (up 7%).

Important election issues

Jul 30, 2012

Q.  Which are the three most important issues in deciding how you would vote at a Federal election?

 

First

Second

Third

Total

30 Jul 12

5 Dec 11

6 June 11

25 Jan 10

Management of the economy

38%

16%

10%

64%

62%

61%

63%

Ensuring a quality education for all children

5%

10%

11%

26%

22%

26%

23%

Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system

10%

19%

18%

47%

47%

49%

48%

Protecting the environment

3%

4%

4%

11%

13%

15%

16%

A fair industrial relations system

4%

3%

5%

12%

11%

8%

*

Political leadership

11%

7%

7%

25%

18%

17%

23%

Addressing climate change

3%

3%

3%

9%

10%

15%

16%

Controlling interest rates

2%

2%

5%

9%

11%

13%

15%

Australian jobs and protection of local industries

13%

15%

13%

41%

36%

32%

33%

Ensuring a quality water supply

*

1%

2%

3%

4%

5%

12%

Housing affordability

3%

5%

5%

13%

13%

16%

14%

Ensuring a fair taxation system

4%

7%

7%

18%

16%

17%

14%

Security and the war on terrorism

1%

1%

3%

5%

4%

8%

9%

Treatment of asylum seekers

3%

4%

3%

10%

8%

5%

*

Managing population growth

2%

3%

3%

8%

8%

12%

*

*Not asked

64% of people surveyed rated management of the economy as one of their three most important issues, followed by 47% ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system and 41% Australian jobs and protection of local industries.

Since December, there has been an increase in the importance of political leadership (+7%), Australian jobs and protection of local industries (+5%) and ensuring a quality education for all children (+4%).

Abbott And His Business Cronies Channel Mark Twain But Facts Are A Bitch

Jun 22, 2012

Mark Twain once said, perhaps borrowing from others, “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes”. And you can only think: Tony Abbott and the business p.r. machine must have that branded on their arms as a guide because every time they open their mouths to talk about the economy, jobs and workers what escapes are lies on top of lies. The problem, though, is that the truth eventually laces up its shoes and catches up. Take productivity.

If you haven’t been living in a cave for the past year, or you’ve been maybe lucky enough to avoid reading the slavish traditional press that too often regurgitates every press release it is handed, you’ve heard the mantra that Australian workers just aren’t productive enough. Rubbish.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions is out with its June 2012 Economic Report. What caught our eye was the productivity section. Surprise, surprise:

Whichever way the productivity figures are examined, the numbers in the latest National Accounts are strong. Labour productivity in the market sector rose by 2.3% in the quarter and 5.3% over the year, the strongest annual growth in a decade.

And what about any dips in productivity here and there? Well, it has nothing to do with industrial relations and Fair Work, which is what Abbott and his business buddies keep yapping about. As the report reiterates:

Investments in skills and infrastructure are the sources of real productivity growth, it was argued. We also pointed out that there is consensus among economists that some portion of the growth slowdown is due to factors related to the mining boom, some of which are temporary and will be reversed as projects are constructed and begin to generate output. [emphasis added]

So, the truth has overtaken the lies. That will not deter those people who have to lie because they have one mission in life: figure out how to shake down workers, pick their pockets for every dime they can get and do it all wrapped around some phony economic double-speak that doesn’t even pass a basic smell test of truth.


@jonathantasini

Party trust to handle important election issues

Jun 18, 2012

Q.  Which party would you trust most to handle the following issues?

 

Labor

Liberal

Greens

Don’t know

Difference

18 Jun 12

Difference

5 Dec 11

Management of the economy

26%

44%

3%

27%

-18

-18

Ensuring a quality education for all children

33%

35%

5%

26%

-2

-2

Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system

30%

36%

7%

27%

-6

-3

Protecting the environment

17%

21%

38%

24%

+17

+14

A fair industrial relations system

36%

30%

6%

28%

+6

+4

Political leadership

21%

37%

7%

36%

-16

-17

Addressing climate change

18%

24%

31%

27%

+7

+6

Controlling interest rates

22%

40%

3%

35%

-18

-18

Protecting Australian jobs and protection of local industries

29%

35%

6%

31%

-6

-3

Ensuring a quality water supply

16%

28%

23%

33%

-12

-12

Housing affordability

22%

33%

5%

39%

-11

-10

Ensuring a fair taxation system

26%

36%

5%

32%

-10

-9

Security and the war on terrorism

18%

40%

4%

38%

-22

-19

Treatment of asylum seekers

16%

36%

13%

36%

-20

-19

Managing population growth

17%

36%

7%

40%

-19

-17

Note – Differences are calculated by subtracting Liberal % from Labor % – except for the two issues on which the Greens lead in which case it is Greens minus Liberal.

Labor does not have a substantial lead over the Liberal Party on any item measured. The Liberal Party has maintained strong leads on management of the economy, controlling interest rates, political leadership and security and the war on terrorism.

There is little difference between Labor and the Liberals for ensuring a quality education for all children, ensuring the quality of Australia’s health systerm and protecting Australian jobs and protection of local industries. Overall, there has been very little change in these results since December.

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