WorkChoices the 'killer' as voters flee Howard's Govt: ACTU

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WorkChoices the 'killer' as voters flee Howard's Govt: ACTU

The ACTU has released the results of an independent survey which shows that WorkChoices is a major factor in voters switching their support from the Government to Labor, and backing the consistent national polls putting the ALP ahead 57% to 43%.

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The ACTU has released the results of an independent survey which shows that WorkChoices is a major factor in voters switching their support from the Government to Labor, and backing the consistent national polls putting the ALP ahead 57% to 43%.

The poll of 800 people showed that while 56% of them voted for the Coalition in 2004, 57% intended to vote for Labor this time.

The poll, conducted in July across Australia, shows that 85% of Australian voters say they support the introduction of 'laws that would allow workers to have a collective agreement if that is what a majority of employees in a workplace want', the ACTU said.

'These laws are crook'

'When we've looked at the voters who are switching their vote from the Government to Labor in this election, it's industrial relations which is the number one reason that they are citing for changing their vote,' said retiring ACTU Secretary, Greg Combet. 'That's I think as a direct consequence of the unfairness of these laws - people know these laws are crook.'

About half if those surveyed thought health was the major issue, and 44% said it was industrial relations.

'A stark set of data'

ACTU President, Sharan Burrow, said the Essential Research poll shows 43% of former Coalition voters who will vote Labor at the next election cited IR laws as the main reason for change.

'So there you have it, a really stark set of data that shows concerns, people determined to vote against the Howard Government because of the IR laws, and the support for the policies that the Labor Government has committed to - to protect penalty rates and other entitlements,' she said.

The poll also found strong support for Labor's proposed changes to the WorkChoices IR laws:

  • 89% supported Labor's proposal to 'protect conditions like penalty rates, four weeks' annual leave, public holiday pay and redundancy payments', and
  • 85% supported introducing laws to allow workers to have a collective agreement for their workplace if that is what the majority wanted

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