seen to be as needed today as ever
TORONTO, AUGUST 21St, 2014 – In a random sampling of
public opinion taken by the Union Calling/Forum Research Poll™ for Local 113 of
the Amalgamated Transit Union among 1207 adult Toronto residents, the majority
agree that union workplace advances like the weekend, paid holidays and maternity
leave are at risk in today's political climate (57%), and a similar proportion
agree that the Canadian labour movement is under assault by employers and
government who want to reduce its influence (56%). Those who are most likely to
agree with this assessment are the oldest (62%), the wealthiest ($80K to $100K
- 67%, $100K to $250K - 62%), more so in the downtown and Etobicoke/York (60%
each) than in Scarborough (53%) or North York (51%), drivers (61%), those with no kids (60%), union members (79%),
households with a union member present (61%), Olivia Chow and David Sokanacki
supporters, and past Liberal (68%) and NDP (72%) voters provincially.
Two thirds agree with right to strike
Two thirds of Torontonians agree with the basic right to
strike ("unionized workers have the right to withdraw their services when
negotiations with their employer break down" - 62%), and this attitude is
common to the oldest (67%), males (67%), the less wealthy ($20K to $40K - 71%),
in the downtown (66%), those with some college or university (66%), union
members especially (80%), Chow (81%) and Soknacki supporters (83%), provincial
Liberals (74%) and NDP supporters (84%).
Three quarters credit social advances to
Three quarters of Toronto voters agree that society would
never have achieved workplace breakthroughs like the weekend, paid holidays,
the end of child labour and paid maternity leave without the unions (75%). This
view is characteristic of the oldest (84%), the wealthy ($80K to $100K - 83%),
union members (85%), Chow (92%) and Soknacki (83%) supporters, Liberals (87%)
and NDP voters (84%).
8-in-10 agree no one should have to work
for less than a living wage
The wide majority agree no one should have to work full time
for a wage that doesn't meet the poverty line (79%), and this is characteristic
of the youngest (86%), females (82%), the wealthier ($80K to $100K - 86%), the
less educated (some college or less - 83%), union members (87%), Chow (94%) and
Soknacki (84%) backers, Liberals (88%) and NDP (93%) voters.
6-in-10 agree unions are needed today as
much as ever
Torontonians agree unions are needed to protect the rights of workers and their
families now as much as they have ever been needed (61%), and the profile of
those who feel this way is similar to those who agree with the previous
Majority believe Canadian labour movement "under assault."
Fifty-six percent of Torontonians agree that the Canadian labour movement is under assault by employers and governments who want to reduce unions' influence. While 79% of union members and 72% of Olivia Chow supporters agreed, even a slim majority of non-union respondents (51%) and John Tory supporters (52%) felt the same way. Perhaps surprisingly, 46% of Rob Ford supporters agreed with this statement.
"The Toronto public, while not that
heavily unionized at about one third of households, is aware of the historical
contributions the labour movement has made to life in Canada, and they
understand that some of these gains could be at risk if not defended with the
same fervour that characterized the union movement in the past. It is
interesting to note that the highest agreement for any of the statements we
tested was for the idea that no one should sacrifice their dignity to work for
less than a living wage, which, unfortunately, is becoming common these days.
This was one of the ideas which actually drew high levels of agreement from the
youngest and from females, who may be the future of the labour movement"
said Dr. Lorne Bozinoff, president and founder of Forum Research. Dr. Bozinoff
may be reached at (416) 960 9603 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The common maxim that ‘Unions were once
needed but no more’ is now a minority view, said Bill Reno, president and
founder of Union Calling, Canada’s largest provider of automated telecom
services exclusively to union and their allies.
“The fact that 75% of respondents attribute several
quality of life social gains to unions is a clear signal, along with the other
responses, that recognition of the value of organized labour is strong, even
among those who do not belong to a union.” Mr. Reno can be reached at 416-223-7366
or at email@example.com.