The majority of private sector workers are opposed to public sector strike action and a significant proportion are virulently opposed, according to leading recruitment consultants Badenoch & Clark. The new research shows a distinct lack of sympathy for state workers’ disquiet at government reforms to their employment packages. Badenoch & Clark advises that as increasing numbers of former state workers seek jobs in the private sector, they will need to be realistic about the discrepancy in workplace benefits between public and private sectors.
As wide spread public sector strike action is expected over pensions this autumn, employees in the private sector are losing patience with their public sector counterparts. Over half (55.5%) do not support the proposed strikes and nearly 1 in 6 (14.3%) are strongly opposed. A further one in six (15%) say strikes will be an unnecessary inconvenience.
The survey of 1,000 UK office workers shows that this sentiment is most felt by older workers aged 55+, with nearly two thirds (65.4%) unsupportive of future strikes. And of these, 27.3% are strongly opposed.
Men are also almost twice as likely not to support strikes than women, with nearly a fifth (18.3%) strongly opposed compared to only 1 in 10 (10.8%) women.
Furthermore, the research reveals a regional disparity in sentiment. Private sector workers in Wales and the North West are the most supportive (51.2% and 35% respectively), whereas employees in Scotland and the South East are the least so (64.8% and 59.8% respectively). Nearly 1 in 5 (18.4%) London workers are strongly opposed.
Nicola Linkleter, Managing Director, Badenoch & Clark, commented;
“The effects of government cuts are causing a lot of dissatisfaction among public sector workers, triggering industrial action. Our research shows, however, that the public sector sentiment is not always met with a sympathetic response from their private sector counterparts. Strike action demonstrates that public sector workers feel aggrieved at their loss of benefits, but such grievances may well be viewed unsympathetically by the public at large.
“While the public sector react to cuts in their benefits packages, our research suggests that the private sector still believes they get a comparatively good deal and therefore shouldn’t be kicking up a fuss. Overall, packages in the public sector are still favourable, particularly pension offerings, which tend to exceed average private sector retirement plans.
“Former public sector workers who are seeking work in the private sector will need to be realistic about the level of benefits they will be able to receive. More often than not they will be far less generous than they’ve been used to.”