Do private sector workers support public sector strikes?
An email from HR Review Update landed in my inbox. ‘Majority of private sector employees oppose public sector strikes’ read the story. But on closer inspection, it made for slightly more interesting reading than the usual line trotted out by various right wing commentators and Tory ministers.
The poll was conducted by recruitment consultants, Badenoch & Clark, of 1,000 private sector ‘office workers’. It found that around 55% opposed, with only 14% ‘strongly opposing’ the strikes. This figure increased for men over the age of 55 but younger workers and women seemed more sympathetic.
What this research tells us is:
- While there’s an entrenched minority strongly opposed, a bell curve analysis suggests that the vast majority occupy a centre ground where opinion can shift.
- 45% already do not describe themselves as opposed even moderately against the strikes.
- Only 1 in 10 women polled were strongly opposed.
Given that the poll was concentrated on those wokers you would anticipate to be least organised (white collar, private sector, service industry) and likely to be anti-union, these figures suggest that there is all to play for in the battle over public sector pensions.