||Issue No. 280||09 September 2005|
The Perfect Storm
Interview: Polar Eclipse
Industrial: Wrong Turn
Unions: Star Support
Workplace: Checked Out
Economics: Sold Out
Politics: Green Banned
History: Potted History
International: Curtain Call
Review: Little Fish
Poetry: Slug A Worker
The Locker Room
What Poor People?
PM’s Spin Hit for Six
Nearly two thirds of respondents in a marginal electorates survey said the Prime Minister's radical workplace agenda would be "bad" for the average worker, while 62 percent thought Australians would be "worse off" under individual contracts.
The poll of 614 people, living in marginals Australia-wide, was conducted by Melbourne-based, MarketMetrics Research, between August 19 and 24.
It found a high level of awareness of the government's workplace agenda, and strong rejection of Canberra's "higher wages, better jobs" spin.
More than three quarters of respondents said they had heard a lot or something about Howard's proposals, and 75 percent rejected his claim they would lead to better pay.
There was overwhelming support for laws that would enshrine rights to collective bargaining and union representation. Eighty seven percent of respondents thought union membership and collective bargaining should be legally enforceable rights.
The survey results were unveiled by the AMWU at federal parliament, last week.
National secretary, Doug Cameron, said they showed the public was not being taken in by the government's taxpayer-funded propaganda blitz.
"People are rightly concerned and wary," he said. "Workers know individual contracts will lead to a loss of conditions and entitlements, and that families will be much worse off."
Cameron was joined by two members, Keith Brown and Lesley Weers, who have first-hand experience of the frustrations caused by a system stacked against employees.
Brown, from Morris McMahon in Sydney, and Hawker de Havilland delegate Weers, have been involved in protracted disputes where employers have flatly refused to negotiate collective agreements, in the face of overwhelming votes in their favour.
They shared their experiences with a range of Senators and MPs.
Key results of the latest polling showed ..
- 41 percent of respondents had head a "lot" and 36 percent about "some" of the federal government's proposals
- 64 percent believed the changes would be bad for ordinary workers
- 62 percent felt that people who went onto individual contracts would be worse off, 30 percent felt they would be "a lot worse off"
- 64 percent felt people would be likely to lose penalty payments
- 58 percent thought people would be likely to lose annual leave loadings
- 57 percent said workers would be likely to lose control over their working hours
- 56 percent thought paid overtime was likely to go
- 54 percent thought job security was likely to diminish
- 86 percent supported laws that would compel employers to bargain collectively, if a majority of workers wanted to
- 75 percent disagreed with government's claim its changes would deliver better pay
- 62 percent rejected its contention they would lead to more jobs
- 52 percent disagreed they would lead to a stronger economy
Results of the AMWU polling showed greater awareness of the government's plans than had been revealed by a May survey, along with a hardening of opposition.
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