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33% Expect it to Lead to Tougher Government Response

Harris Interactive and industrial relations experts Marshall-James have commissioned a poll that has shown that opinion is very much split across the UK’s working population as to the anticipated value and effectiveness of the proposed day of industrial action on 30th June.

The Harris poll, conducted in association with Marshall-James, the UK’s only specialist firm of dedicated employee and industrial relations advisors, canvassed opinion from over 1000 working adults from a cross section of the private (71%) and public sector (23%).

Only 32% support strike action with 40% opposing and 28% expressing neither support nor opposition. Significantly, 33% anticipate that it will lead to further Government clamp downs, encourage more industrial action (25%) and lead to public sector workers being held in lower regard (29%). Furthermore, just 20% believe that it will lead to a rethink of pension changes; the root cause of this specific industrial action.

Andy Cook, CEO of Marshall-James, commenting on the results of the poll, said: “I think this poll demonstrates that public sympathy is difficult for the unions to secure. Many Private sector workers will look at the pensions enjoyed by a majority of Public Sector workers with a degree of envy, particularly as they fund the schemes through taxes. This issue is set to run and run through the summer and autumn and I predict more unions will take action. The challenge will be to co-ordinate the strikes so they all happen at the same time, but there will be disruption both on the 30th June and throughout the year”.

Marshall-James is presenting a conference called ‘Creating Value through Employee Relations’, looking at the industrial and employee challenges in the UK, taking place on October 13th in central London. One of the speakers is the Rt. Hon Francis Maude MP and other speakers are drawn from unions and business. Members of the press are welcome to attend.

If you need an expert commentator on the Industrial Action planned for this week or any other matters relating to Industrial or Employee Relations, then please contact Andy Cook.


*Andy Cook is in the rare position of having previously worked as a union officer prior to a career as an HR and Employee Relations Director with the British Library, Transport for London and Gate Gourmet. Andy is a regular and experienced media commentator on all employee and industrial relations issues in the trade and national print, online and broadcast media and is available for comment on any of this week’s events.
Andy is now CEO of Marshall-James, the UK’s only specialist firm of dedicated employee and industrial relations advisors. The company works in partnership with Boards, CEOs and senior HR leaders providing advice on employee relations strategy and implementation for some of the largest public and FTSE private sector organisations in both unionised and non-unionised environments.
For further information, please contact Fraser Butters at Pervasive PR on 07766 566396 or or Andy Cook directly on 020 3021 3970 or 07919 518764 or

This study was conducted online by Harris Interactive among a total of 1,091 adults in full or part time employment within Great Britain between 21st and 24th June 2011. Figures for age, sex, education, region and Internet usage were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

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