Possum Pollytics reports on the 2010 professional rankings for honesty, conducted by Roy Morgan. The rankings are part of a ten-year series and asks people to rank various professions on their “perceived levels of honesty and ethical standards”.
The list is an interesting one in and of itself, but I’m particularly concerned about the ranking of “union leaders” – which ranks with a mere 15 percent for “high” or “very high” in terms of honesty and ethics.
While this doesn’t differentiate between union leaders and union officials (like organisers or industrial officers), or unions as institutions, the low ranking – below lawyers, politicians and bank managers – should be worrying for any unionist.
Of course, there are some mitigating circumstances. Both Howard and Rudd Governments ran smear campaigns against union leaders – campaigns that were out and out hostile. Targeted at both blue and white collar unions (construction unions and teachers unions for example), it would be odd for union leaders to rank as highly as nurses or the police.
Nevertheless, with a new ACTU President, a Federal election likely to be partly fought on WorkChoices, and an urgent need to increase union membership under the Fair Work Act, these figures must be taken seriously.