||Issue No. 245||05 November 2004|
What’s In a Name?
Interview: The Reich Stuff
Economics: Crime and Punishment
Environment: Beyond The Wedge
International: The End Of The Lucky Country
Safety: Tests Fail Tests
Politics: Labo(u)r Day
Human Rights: Arabian Lights
History: Labour's Titan
Review: Foxy Fiasco
Poetry: Then I Saw The Light
The Locker Room
Let's Start A New Party
Unions Dump Labor
Endorsing the new identity, ‘Unions NSW", secretary John Robertson said the decision was based on research, including focus groups of young workers and election exit polling that found less than half of all union members voted for the ALP.
The name change, to take effect in January 2005, is part of a broader move by Robertson to 're-brand' unions for a new generation of workers.
"This move means no disrespect to the history of the Labor Council of NSW, more a recognition that we need to change to maintain our relevance," Robertson says.
"Having seen the research - and particularly the attitudes of younger workers, two things were clear: they do not like politicians and they think Labor Council is a political body.
"In contrast, there is no suggestion of hostility to unions, just a lack of awareness of their relevance and an ignorance of our historical achievements.
"In this context, the role of a peak body must be to portray the positives of unionism - and trading as 'Labor Council' it is clear we are making that task harder than it need be."
The name change will apply to all operations of the Labor Council including official titles of officials, public statements, presentations, meetings and official duties.
< b>Exit 'Rusted On' Labor Voters
The move to re-brand Labor Council has been reinforced by research showing less than half of union members gave their first preference to the ALP in the recent federal election.
A poll of 403 NSW union members, conducted by Auspoll in the fortnight following the federal election, found:
- 49 per cent voted for the ALP
- 31 per cent voted for the Coalition
- and 12 per cent voted Green.
On a two-party preferred basis, Labor enjoyed a 65-35 split, significantly more than he 47-53 election result, but far short of unanimous support .
"This research suggests two things, " Robertson says.
"First, the ALP can not take union members for granted. There is a real challenge to the ALP to differentiate itself from the Coalition in terms of the policies it presents.
"Second, it suggests that while union members are not party political - but that they do expect all sides of politics to give them the legal right to bargain collectively."
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