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Hazards and
Workers' Health International Newsletter
PO Box 199
Sheffield S1 4YL

AFL-CIO survey: American public likes unions more and more

Unions are winning the public relations battle against corporate
mud-slinging, according to a recent survey conducted for the US labour
federation AFL-CIO. And the American public has more confidence in unions on health and safety than on any other issue.

A January 2001 survey by the Peter D. Hart Research Group for the AFL-CIO revealed that the public's opinions on unions and their objectives has risen dramatically since 1993. But just as important, noted Guy Molyneux, the Hart group pollster who explained the study, was the fact that negative anti-union opinions dropped dramatically.

Responses about confidence in labour movement priorities on national issues showed more than 70 per cent of the poll sample had "a lot of confidence" or "a fair amount of confidence" that unions "would contribute positively to workplace health and safety issues.

This topped the confidence table, followed by overtime work/hours per week (62 per cent) and health care (56 per cent).

The AFL-CIO poll found that 87 per cent of those questioned approved of labour's position in trying to get regulations to lessen repetitive strain injuries.


Excerpt from Graphic Communicator, GCIU, March-April 2001

Union workplaces are safer workplaces

Findings of the Australian Workplace Relations Survey 1990-95, conducted by Federal government every five years. Survey of 20,000 employees.

Results: If there was no union at the workplace

19% of workplaces had Health and Safety Committee

41% had a Health and Safety Representative

25% had undergone a OHS Audit in the last year

Results: If there was a union and union delegate at the workplace

59% had a Health and Safety Committee

82% had a Health and Safety Representative

46% had undergone a OHS Audit in the last year.

Unionised workplaces in Australia are three times as likely to have likely to have a health and safety committee and twice as likely to have undergone a management occupational health and safety audit in the previous 12 months.