Some interesting research from
Roy Morgan we haven’t seen covered elsewhere: “Nearly 2.5 million
Australian employees identify themselves as Trade Union members while a
further 1.5 million Australians would like to be members of a Trade
Union, according to a special telephone Morgan Poll,” the pollster said
last week.

employed Australians were asked, “Do you belong to a Trade Union?” 24%
(2,459,000) said they do belong to a Trade Union, 75% (7,898,000) said
they do not, and 1% (113,000) were unable to say.”

The Morgan
findings – based on research in October – show a much higher rate of
union membership than the August 2004 Australian Bureau of Statistics
Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership released back in March. They say only 1,842,100 employees were members of a Trade Union.

Morgan’s research, a further 24,000 unemployed Australians say they
belong to a trade union and an additional 1,525,000 people who aren’t
members – 14 per cent of the Australian workforce – would like to join.

also says on top of the 2,483,000 Trade Union members in the workforce,
a further 1,580,000 non-trade union members live in a household with
someone else who is a unionist.

“Overall 3,963,000 Australians
in the workforce (36%) are either a member of a Trade Union or live in
a household with someone who is a member of a Trade Union,” they

So, is this a win either way for the ACTU – that even
if they lose the fight to block the Government’s industrial relations
proposals, they’ll gain more members? That’s what many observers have
forecast as a likely outcome of the IR wars.

And is it a sign
that yesterday’s polls really do show a trend away from the Government
– the first smouldering smoke from Labor’s slow burn?