Essential Report

Better or worse off with stronger unions

May 20, 2013

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

10 Sept 12

Total

20 May 13

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Work full time

Work part time

Total better off

39%

43%

65%

28%

61%

43%

44%

Total worse off

30%

29%

11%

50%

10%

32%

28%

A lot better off

13%

14%

23%

7%

26%

15%

14%

A little better off

26%

29%

42%

21%

35%

28%

30%

A little worse off

15%

14%

9%

19%

9%

15%

16%

A lot worse off

15%

15%

2%

31%

1%

17%

12%

Make no difference

15%

12%

10%

12%

16%

13%

11%

Don’t know

15%

14%

13%

10%

12%

12%

17%

The perception that workers would be better off with stronger unions has increased since this question was asked in September last year. 43% (up 4%)  felt that workers would be better off if unions in Australia were stronger and 29% (down 1%) that believed workers would be worse off.

By voting intention, 65% of Labor voters and 61% of Greens voters believed that workers would be better off while Coalition voters were by far the most likely to believe that workers would be worse off (50%).

51% of respondents on incomes of $600-$1,000pw thought that workers would be better off with stronger unions.

Membership of Organisations

Dec 5, 2011

Q. Which of the following types of organisations have you ever been a member of?

Q. Which of the following types of organisations are you currently a member of?

Q. And which of the following types of organisations have you joined in the last 12 months?

Ever been a member Currently a member Joined in last 12 months
Trade union 34% 9% 2%
Professional organization 28% 13% 3%
Environment group 9% 4% 2%
Religion/church 31% 13% 2%
Book club 14% 4% 1%
Service organisation like Rotary, Lions, Apex, etc 9% 4% 1%
School organisation e.g. parents club, school council 22% 4% 2%
Sports club 38% 17% 6%
Political party 6% 1% *
Local community group 21% 11% 3%
Special interest or hobby group e.g. gardening, birdwatching, chess, etc 20% 10% 3%
Other organisation 9% 6% 1%
Total members 81% 56% 20%

56% say they are currently members of an organisation and 20% say they have joined an organisation in the last 12 months. The most popular types of organisations are sports clubs (17% members) religions/churches (13%) and professional organisations (13%). Membership of organisations is slightly lower for those aged under 35 (53%) and a little higher for those aged 55+ (58%). 59% of men and 53% of women say they are members of an organisation.

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