The Australian public’s regard for unions is rising
A poll finds a majority of people think Australia would be better off if unions were stronger.
The poll, conducted by Essential for The Guardian found that 50 per cent of Australians indicated we would be better off with strong unions. Only 25 per cent disagreed.
This is a marked increase in the positive perception of unions since the early 2010s when support was less than 40 per cent.
The poll also found that:
- 74 per cent of respondents agreed that unions provide essential services to their members to ensure they are paid appropriately and have safe working environments
- 74 per cent agreed that unions give workers more power with employers through a collective voice
- 67 per cent agreed unions are vital to stop businesses taking advantage of their employees.
Sally McManus, ACTU Secretary, said the research shows that Australians know “who has their back”.
“Unionised workers have steered the country through this pandemic and will continue to play a leading role in the economic rebuild,” she said.
“Pay cuts and cuts to workers’ rights will not help Australia recover. We are working to win more secure jobs and fairer wages.”
The poll came as the Australian Bureau of Statistics released new figures showing unemployment climbing to nearly 1 million people; 227,000 jobs were lost between April and May.