The public is firmly onside with trade unions when it comes to acting to prevent the mistreatment of workers, a poll for the country’s leading union, Unite, reveals today Sunday 26 September.

Public support 

Nearly seven in 10 (67 per cent) support unions taking action to push back against employer abuses. 59 per cent of Conservative voters and 81 per cent of Labour voters share this view.

The poll comes as Sharon Graham, the union’s general secretary, visits picket lines in support of workers facing assaults on their pay and living standards, including a fire and rehire wage grab at Weetabix and pay disputes on the Woolwich Ferry and Blackburn and Burnley General Hospital.

Employers must take notice

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “People have had enough of workers paying the price while the boardrooms sit pretty.  The strong public support for unions acting to defend workers underscores this so employers need to sit up and take note.

 “The message is bad bosses beware. Unite is committed to defending the jobs, pay and conditions of working people and we will be relentless in pushing back in any and all attacks on our members - and we have the public on our side."

Poll details

Unite’s poll – carried out by Survation – also reveals

  • 56 per cent of the public believes the financial costs of the pandemic have fallen on the poorest.  This includes 56 per cent of Conservative voters and 60 per cent of Labour voters;
  • And more of the public, 41 per cent, believe that employers have taken advantage of their workers during the pandemic, with 38 per cent thinking they haven’t.


Notes to Editors:

The polling was carried out by Survation for Unite the Union. 2,164 UK adults were interviewed online on 10th to 14th September 2021

During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

Email: [email protected]

Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.