||Issue No. 257||01 April 2005|
Unions: State of the Union
Industrial: Fashion Accessories
Legal: Leg Before Picket
Politics: Business Welfare Brats
Health: Cannabis Controversy
Economics: Debt, Deficit, Downturn
History: Politics In The Pubs
Review: Three Bob's Worth
Poetry: Do The Slowly Chokie
The Locker Room
Bus Lanes On Vic Rd
Dirt Cheap Right On Money
Thumbs Down for Union Busters
The ï¿½sweeping industrial reformsï¿½ will hit in a climate where voters of all political persuasions feel the economy is not delivering for working families.
The 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 over the summer.
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
- 80 per cent (including 77 per cent of Liberal voters) agreeing that while the economy is going well, it is a struggle for working people to make ends meet
- 88 per cent of people agreeing the government has a moral obligation to ensure that every worker earns enough to have a decent quality of life.
- and 71 per cent believing both Labor and Liberal are too close to big business
- and 59 per cent believing that neither major party stands up for working people any more.
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:
- half of all workers agree they 'would rather be in a union'
- 41 per cent of non-members who say they would like to be in a union have never been asked
- there is an increasing satisfaction with the performance of trade unions
- and the growing perception that management has power r than unions.
Click here to read a copy of John Robertson's 'State of the union' speech
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