Industrial Relations Laws

Feb 6, 2012

Q. Business groups have said that Australia’s industrial relations laws favour workers and unions and should be changed so that businesses can increase productivity and have more flexibility with their workforce. Do you think Australia’s industrial relations laws favour employers or workers or do they balance the interests of workers and employers?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Full time workers Part time workers
Favour employers 25% 29% 23% 36% 27% 25%
Favour workers 24% 15% 39% 12% 26% 20%
Balance the interests of employers and workers 34% 43% 25% 37% 34% 38%
Don’t know 17% 13% 13% 16% 13% 17%

Respondents were evenly divided over whether Australia’s industrial relations laws favour employers or workers – 25% think they favour employers, 24% favour workers and 34% think they balance the interests of both.

Labor voters are more likely to think they balance workers and employers interests (43%) while Liberal/National voters are more likely to thin they favour workers (39%). Only 15% of Labor voters and 12% of Greens voters think the laws favour workers. Comments »

Jobs reform

Oct 3, 2011

Q. To what extent do you agree that the following measures will improve job creation and investment in Australia?

Total Agree Total Disagree Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly disagree Don’t know
Increasing the number of apprenticeships 88% 4% 38% 50% 4% 0% 7%
Giving incentives to companies that invest in research and development 79% 8% 26% 53% 7% 1% 12%
Boosting investment in renewable energy technologies 75% 11% 30% 45% 8% 3% 14%
Requiring companies to use Australian made steel in large infrastructure projects 73% 11% 27% 46% 9% 2% 15%
Implementing industrial relations changes that give more flexibility to business 57% 19% 13% 44% 14% 5% 24%
Bringing back tariffs on products imported from overseas 52% 29% 16% 36% 20% 9% 19%
Introducing industrial relations reforms to make it easier to hire and fire people 41% 41% 13% 28% 29% 12% 18%

Increasing the number of apprenticeships (88% total agree) is the most popular measure for improving job creation and investment in Australia, followed by giving incentives to companies that invest in research and development (79% total agree) and boosting investment in renewable energy technologies (75%).

Requiring companies to use Australian made steel in large infrastructure projects is also strongly endorsed by respondents (73% total agree).

The least popular measure is introducing industrial relations reforms to make it easier to hire and fire people (41% total disagree).   Asked with a different emphasis, there is significantly less opposition to the suggestion of implementing industrial relations changes that give more flexibility to business (19% total disagree).

Comments »

Jobs reform by Voting Intention

Oct 3, 2011

Q. To what extent do you agree that the following measures will improve job creation and investment in Australia?

Total Agree Total Agree – Labor Total Agree – Lib/Nat Total Agree- Greens
Increasing the number of apprenticeships 88% 89% 91% 87%
Giving incentives to companies that invest in research and development 79% 80% 83% 83%
Boosting investment in renewable energy technologies 75% 80% 71% 88%
Requiring companies to use Australian made steel in large infrastructure projects 73% 77% 77% 69%
Implementing industrial relations changes that give more flexibility to business 57% 45% 75% 41%
Bringing back tariffs on products imported from overseas 52% 52% 58% 40%
Introducing industrial relations reforms to make it easier to hire and fire people 41% 26% 65% 18%

Increasing the number of apprenticeships, giving incentives to companies that invest in research and development, and requiring companies to use Australia made steel in large infrastructure projects all receive a consistent level of endorsement across party lines.

Labor voters are more likely to agree with boosting investment in renewable energy technologies (80% total agree) as a measure to improve job creation and investment in Australia, as are Greens voters (88% total agree).

Labor voters are less likely to agree with implementing industrial relations changes that give more flexibility to business (45% total agree) and introducing industrial relations reforms to make it easier to hire and fire people (26% total agree).

Coalition voters are the most likely to agree with the industrial relations reforms, with 75% agreeing with implementing industrial relations changes that give more flexibility to business and 65% agreeing with introducing industrial relations reforms to make it easier to hire and fire people.

Comments »

Productivity

Sep 12, 2011

Q. Some business leaders have recently claimed that to increase productivity, industrial relations laws need to be changed to give businesses more flexibility around how they employ workers, including re-introducing individual contracts. Do you agree or disagree?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total agree 40% 27% 59% 17%
Total disagree 42% 61% 24% 61%
Strongly agree 11% 6% 19% 2%
Agree 29% 21% 40% 15%
Disagree 22% 29% 17% 23%
Strongly disagree 20% 32% 7% 38%
Don’t know 18% 11% 17% 21%

Opinions about the need for changes to industrial laws to increase productivity were divided. 40% agreed with the need to change IR laws and 42% disagreed. 61% of Labor voters and Greens voters disagreed, while 59% of Liberal/National voters agreed.

Those aged 35-54 tended to disagree (35% agree/47% disagree) while those aged under 35 (40%/34%) and 55+ (48%/42%) were more likely to agree. 46% of full-time workers disagreed and 43% agreed.

Comments »

Party best at Handling Issues

Jul 19, 2010

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

  Labor Liberal Greens Don’t know
A fair industrial relations system 45% 24% 5% 26%
Ensuring a quality education for all children 41% 25% 4% 29%
Australian jobs and protection of local industries 42% 28% 3% 27%
Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system  38% 27% 4% 31%
Ensuring a fair taxation system 36% 28% 4% 32%
Housing affordability 30% 24% 4% 41%
Political leadership 33% 30% 5% 33%
Ensuring a quality water supply 23% 23% 22% 32%
Managing population growth 24% 27% 9% 40%
Security and the war on terrorism 25% 30% 3% 42%
Management of the economy 32% 38% 3% 27%
Treatment of asylum seekers 23% 29% 11% 37%
Controlling interest rates 28% 35% 2% 35%
Addressing climate change 18% 16% 36% 29%
Protecting the environment 17% 13% 47% 23%

 Labor have a substantial lead over the Liberal Party as the best party to handle a fair industrial relations system (+21%), quality education for all (+16%), Australian jobs and protection of industries (+14%) and ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system (+11%).

 The Liberal Party’s main strengths were controlling interest rates (+7%), treatment of asylum seekers (+6%) and management of the economy  (+6%).

The Greens were thought to be the best party for protecting the environment (47%) and addressing climate change (36%). Comments »

Important Election Issues

May 10, 2010

Q8. Which are the three most important issues in deciding how you would vote at a Federal election? (Number from 1 to 3 where 1 is the most important, 2 the second most important, etc)

  One Two Three Total Total

25 Jan 10

Difference
Management of the economy 34% 18% 10% 62% 63% -1%
Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system  14% 20% 16% 50% 48% +2%
Australian jobs and protection of local industries 8% 10% 11% 29% 33% -4%
Ensuring a fair taxation system 5% 8% 9% 22% 18% +4%
Ensuring a quality education for all children 3% 7% 9% 19% 23% -4%
Housing affordability 6% 5% 6% 17% 14% +3%
Controlling interest rates 5% 5% 6% 16% 15% +1%
Managing population growth 3% 4% 7% 14% *  
Protecting the environment 3% 5% 5% 13% 16% -3%
Political leadership 5% 3% 4% 12% 23% -11%
Addressing climate change 4% 4% 4% 12% 16% -4%
Fair immigration policies 3% 4% 3% 10% *  
A fair industrial relations system 2% 4% 3% 9% 10% -1%
Ensuring a quality water supply 2% 2% 3% 7% 12% -5%
Security and the war on terrorism 2% 2% 3% 7% 9% -2%

*Not asked in January 2010 poll

 62% of people surveyed rate management of the economy is one of their three most important issues, followed by 50% that rate ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system and 29% that rate Australian jobs and protection of local industries as one of their three most important issues.

 Only 9% rate a fair industrial relations system as one of their three most important issues and 7% rate security and the war on terrorism and ensuring a quality water supply. 

 The major change since the previous survey in January, was a drop in the importance of political leadership from 23% to 12%. Ensuring a fairer tax system has risen slightly from 18% to 22%. Comments »

Government Performance

Apr 27, 2010

Q6. How would you rate the Federal Government’s performance in handling the following issues?

  Total good Total poor Very good Good Poor Very poor   Not sure
Stimulating the economy to address the economic crisis 63% 29% 21% 42% 19% 10% 8%
Handling the economy in such a way as to minimize job losses during the recent economic crisis 59% 29% 15% 44% 18% 11% 12%
Trying to find ways to improve the health care system 50% 39% 10% 39% 24% 15% 12%
Replacing the Workchoices industrial laws 44% 36% 13% 31% 22% 14% 20%
Standing up for Australian working families 43% 45% 9% 34% 24% 21% 13%
Balancing the interests of business and Australian workers 39% 43% 5% 34% 25% 18% 18%
The school buildings program 31% 56% 5% 25% 29% 27% 14%
Introducing an emissions trading scheme 28% 57% 3% 25% 28% 29% 15%
Handling the issue of asylum seekers 18% 72% 3% 15% 28% 43% 10%

 A majority of respondents rated the Government’s performance good or very good for  “Stimulating the economy to address the economic crisis” (63%), “Handling the economy in such a way as to minimize job losses during the recent economic crisis” (59%) and “Trying to find ways to improve the health care system” (50%).

 A majority rated the Government’s performance poor or very poor for “Handling the issue of asylum seekers” (72%), “Introducing an emissions trading scheme” (57%) and “The school buildings program” (56%).

 The only issue on which less than half Labor voters rated the Government performance as good/very good was “Handling the issue of asylum seekers” (34% good/58% poor). Comments »

Party best at looking after Australia’s interests

Mar 22, 2010

Q.  Which party – Labor or Liberal – would by best at the following –

  Labor Liberal No difference Don’t know
Being on the side of Australian working people when it comes to issues affecting them at the workplace 48% 18% 24% 10%
Handling the economy in a way that best protects ordinary working people in Australia 39% 30% 20% 11%
Creating jobs for Australian workers 36% 27% 26% 11%
Representing you and people like you 35% 30% 24% 11%
Handling the economy 30% 37% 23% 10%
Controlling inflation 24% 35% 31% 11%
Keeping interest rates low 23% 29% 35% 13%
Dealing with the budget and keeping government spending down in general 22% 42% 26% 10%

Just under half (48%) of those surveyed think that Labor is the best party at being on the side of Australian working people when it comes to issues affecting them at the workplace, 39% think Labor is best at handling the economy in a way that protects ordinary working people in Australia. 

The Liberal Party score highest in terms of dealing with the budget and keeping government spending down in general (42%) and handling the economy (37%). 

 In terms of being on the side of Australian working people when it comes to issues affecting them at the workplace, under half (46%) of Coalition voters surveyed think the Liberal Party is best at handling this, 33% of these voters think there is no difference and 16% of Coalition voters think Labor is best at being on the side of Australian working people when it comes to workplace issues.  Comments »

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