While most Yukoners are not personally being affected by the NWTel strike, most are concerned the strike will result in increased rates and reduced service. In a DataPath Poll conducted earlier this month, there were some clear trends among the residents on their attitudes about the strike.
Only 17% felt they were being personally affected by the strike, but this was as high as 21% in the communities. Rural residents were more concerned the strike would increase rates and cut service. For example, across the Territory, 58% are concerned the strike would raise rates – this is only 53% in Whitehorse and up to 70% in the communities. When asked if they were concerned the strike would decrease service, 54% of Yukoners felt that would occur, but that was only 48% in Whitehorse and increased to 66% among rural residents.
A surprise however, occurs when Yukoners were asked if they supported the workers in the strike. The result showed a dead tie – among those with an opinion, 50% responded “yes”, and 50% responded “no”. Residents of the communities, who showed the higher concern of prices and service, were more supportive of the workers than were Whitehorse residents. Support for the workers was 47% in Whitehorse and 57% in the communities.
Some other differences between groups showed:
· The younger the respondent the more likely they were to feel the strike would raise rates and decrease service.
· Women were more likely to feel the strike would raise telephone rates there were men. (63% vs. 53%)
· Those employed in the private sector were more likely than government employees to feel affected by the strike (21% vs. 14%) and less likely to support the workers (38% vs. 67%).
· The longer you’ve lived in the Yukon the less likely you are to support the workers
· The more money one earns, the more likely they are being affected by the strike, but less concerned the strike will raise rates or decrease service. The higher income group is also the least likely to support the workers. Only 13% of those earning over $100,000 household income supported the workers.
The survey was conducted by DataPath Systems; an independent Yukon-based market research company. Telephone surveys were conducted with 150 Whitehorse residents and 150 non-Whitehorse residents between June 15 and July 3. The data is weighted to accurately represent Yukoners based on the community they live in, their age and gender. Percentages are statistically valid to +/- 5.5%, 19 times out of 20 (95% confidence). This was a non-commissioned study, paid for by DataPath Systems.