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Attitudes to Trade Unions 1975-2014

Published:6 February 2014
Fieldwork:1975 - present
Theme:Society
Keywords:Industrial relations, Labour Party, Strike, Trade Unions, Work
(Click on keywords to find related Research)

Q I am going to read out some statements relating to trade unions.
For each one, please tell me from this card, how strongly you agree or disagree with it?

"Trade union leaders are out of touch with their members"

  All adults TU members
  Agree Disagree Net Agree Disagree Net
  % % % % % ±%
August 1993 45 22 +23 48 30 +18
August 1994 42 27 +15 38 41 -3
August 1995 41 26 +15 42 35 +7

"Trade unions would have too much power under a Labour government"

  All adults TU members
  Agree Disagree Net Agree Disagree Net
  % % % % % ±%
February 1992 53 35 +18 40 50 -10
March 1992 50 41 +9 43 51 -8
August 1994 37 39 -2 25 57 -32
August 1995 34 42 -8 26 57 -31
 February 2014
42
37
+5
     

"Trade unions have too much power in Britain today"

  All adults TU members
  Agree Disagree Net Agree Disagree Net
  % % % % % ±%
October 1975 75 16 +59 65 28 +37
August 1977 79 17 +62 68 27 +41
September 1978 82 16 +66 73 25 +48
September 1979 80 16 +64 69 28 +41
July 1980 72 19 +53 58 31 +27
November 1981 70 22 +48 58 31 +27
August 1982 71 21 +50 62 34 +28
August 1983 68 25 +43 56 39 +17
August 1984 68 24 +44 55 37 +18
February 1985 n/a n/a   40 45 -5
November 1985 n/a n/a   42 41 +1
August 1987 n/a n/a   31 51 -20
August 1989 41 42 -1 26 62 -36
Dec 1989-Jan 1990 35 54 -19 15 75 -60
August 1990 38 45 -7 22 66 -40
February 1992 27 64 -37 14 82 -68
December 1992 24 56 -32 16 71 -55
August 1993 26 55 -29 17 70 -53
August 1994 26 56 -30 7 79 -72
August 1995 24 57 -33 14 73 -59
June 2011
35
52
-17
     
July 2013 35 50  -15      
 February 2014
 29 54
 -25      

"Most trade unions are controlled by extremists and militants"

  All adults TU members
  Agree Disagree Net Agree Disagree Net
  % % % % % ±%
October 1975 64 20 +44 56 37 +19
August 1977 66 21 +45 58 33 +25
September 1978 60 30 +30 57 39 +18
September 1979 67 24 +43 59 35 +24
July 1980 70 20 +50 55 34 +21
November 1981 61 22 +39 55 30 +25
August 1982 65 23 +42 64 30 +34
August 1984 64 24 +40 55 35 +20
November 1985 n/a n/a   43 36 +7
August 1987 n/a n/a   48 35 +13
August 1989 54 26 +28 43 42 +1
August 1990 50 30 +20 43 44 -1
December 1992 34 42 -8 26 56 -30
August 1993 35 40 -5 28 55 -27
August 1994 30 47 -17 19 68 -49
August 1995 31 45 -14 23 61 -38
July 2013 23 60 -37      

"Trade unions are essential to protect workers' interests"

  All adults TU members
  Agree Disagree Net Agree Disagree Net
  % % % % % ±%
October 1975 73 15 +58 88 6 +82
August 1977 75 18 +57 85 11 +74
September 1978 78 16 +62 87 11 +76
September 1979 80 16 +64 88 10 +78
July 1980 72 16 +56 90 6 +84
November 1981 73 16 +57 85 6 +81
August 1982 71 21 +50 n/a n/a  
August 1983 77 16 +61 89 8 +81
August 1984 71 18 +59 86 9 +77
February 1985 n/a n/a   91 5 +86
November 1985 n/a n/a   76 12 +64
August 1987 n/a n/a   88 5 +83
March 1989 72 17 +55 81 11 +70
August 1989 77 12 +65 91 7 +84
Dec 1989-Jan 1990 69 21 +48 85 10 +75
August 1990 80 11 +69 90 7 +83
February 1992 81 14 +67 93 6 +87
December 1992 74 12 +62 86 9 +77
August 1993 80 10 +70 92 4 +88
August 1994 82 10 +72 93 6 +87
August 1995 79 10 +69 88 4 +84
June 2011
76
15
+61
     
July 2013 78 14 +64      
 February 2014
77
14
+63
     

"The Labour Party should not be so closely linked to the trade unions"

  All adults TU members
  Agree Disagree Net Agree Disagree Net
  % % % % % ±%
October 1977 67 22 +45 57 34 +23
September 1978 63 27 +36 60 35 +25
August 1987 n/a n/a   52 34 +18
September 1994 55 24 +31 48 36 +12
August 1995 50 24 +26 45 30 +16
July 2013 53 28 +25      

See also Best Party on Key Issues - Trade Unions

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