Six in ten Canadians support federal government intervention in Canada Post lock-out

According to a new national survey from Abacus Data, a majority of Canadians (60%) either strongly or somewhat support the federal government’s action to end the labour disputes at Canada Post and Air Canada.  Over one in four Canadians (27%) opposed federal government involvement in the labour disputes while 13% said they neither supported nor opposed the action.

“The federal government has the support of the public in its action to deal with labour disputes at Air Canada and Canada Post,” said David Coletto, CEO of Abacus Data.  “Support is especially strong among Conservative supporters, older Canadians, and Ontarians.”

Support for intervention was high among men and women, Conservative Party supporters, immigrants, and among Canadians 31 and older.  NDP supporters, not surprisingly, and respondents living in union households were less likely to support government intervention.

“Even before the debate and passage of back to work legislation to end the Canada Post lock-out, a majority of Canadians wanted the conflict resolved,” said Coletto.  “A majority of respondents in every region of the country, including Quebec, supported the decision to intervene.”

Respondents were also asked their opinion on whether workers in a number of essential public services should have the right to strike.  Opinions differed greatly depending on the service and type of profession in question.

A large majority of Canadians believed that emergency professionals like doctors, police officers, paramedics, prison officers, and nurses should not have the right to strike.  In contrast, a majority of Canadians believed that railway employees, social workers, and bus drivers should have the right to strike.

Public opinion was more divided when it comes to public servants, teachers, garbage collectors and postal employees.

“When it comes to a worker’s right to strike, Canadians differentiate between core essential services like police and doctors, and less essential services like public transit and social workers,” said Coletto.

Not surprisingly Conservative Party supporters were least likely to believe that all services tested have a right to strike while NDP supporters were the most likely to believe that workers have a right to strike.

Download the full report.

On June 23 and 24, 2011 Abacus Data Inc. conducted an online survey among 1,005 randomly selected Canadian adults from an online panel of over 150,000 Canadians. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is comparable to +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

Results of the survey were statistically weighted by gender, age, region, and education using census data from Statistics Canada and by past vote using Elections Canada results from the 2011 General Election. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.