According to a CROP survey carried out for the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agrees in October 2008, close to two-thirds of Quebec workers (65%) believe unions still have an important role to play in 2008.
Importance of unions’ role
The CROP-CRHA survey shows that 65% of workers think unions still have a very (24%) or fairly (41%) important role to play in our society today. However, one respondent in three disagrees, rating unions’ role as not very important or not important at all.
“Because a certain inflexibility may sometimes be structured into collective agreements, some workers may see unions as obstacles to what they’re looking for in their jobs. Flextime and participation in the decision-making process are just two examples. But we shouldn’t forget that across society as a whole, unions help improve working conditions for all workers, whether they’re unionized or not,” commented Florent Francoeur, Ordre president and CEO.
Better working conditions for unionized workers?
The survey also indicates that opinions are divided about the benefits of union membership. Half of all Quebec workers think that union members enjoy better working conditions than non-union members, while 38% think conditions are just as good and 7% not as good.
Interestingly, the results are very similar among unionized workers, 56% of whom think they benefit from better conditions than their non-unionized counterparts, compared to 32% who believe they are just as good and 9% not as good. Priorities for unions When respondents were asked what the unions should consider as priorities in the coming years, work/personal life balance topped the list at 56%, followed by the quality of life in the workplace at 42%, and occupational health and safety at 37%.
"Workers' priorities have obviously changed over the last few decades. They used to be more concerned about their salaries, but there's been considerable progress in this respect. Their new concerns naturally correspond to changes in our society and the unions have to focus on these new challenges," concluded Francoeur.
To learn more
The complete results of the CROP-Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés survey are available here (in French only).
Importance of unions
Importance of the role of unions in society in 2008
|Level of importance||All workers||Unionized workers||Non-unionized workers|
|Very/Fairly||65 %||80 %||58 %|
|Not very/Not at all||33 %||20 %||39 %|
Assessment of unionized workers’ working conditions
|Conditions of unionized vs. non-unionized workers||All workers||Unionized workers||Non-unionized workers|
|Better for unionized workers||50 %||56 %||48 %|
|Just as good for unionized workers||38 %||32 %||41 %|
|Not as good for unionized workers||7 %||9 %||6 %|