Gallup Union Poll: 50 Year High

Monday, September 16, 2019


Reports of labor's demise have been greatly exaggerated according to a new Gallup poll. According to the research organization, 65% of Americans approve of labor unions, marking a near 50-year high. That figure is up 16 points from the Great Recession low of 2008.
Support is up significantly among political parties as well, with 82% of Democrats, 61% of independents and 45% of Republicans supportive of unions. The findings appear to back up a 2018 study from MIT Sloan that found that almost half of nonunionized workers would join a union if given the opportunity to do so - a four-decade high. If that were to happen, almost 60 million more working people would have the protection of a union contract.
A Pew study, also from 2018, found that 51% of Americans said the decline in unionization has been mostly bad for working people; and in 2019 the research organization found that 45% of respondents said unions have a positive effect on the country, compared to 28% who described unions as having a negative impact. Yet, unionization rate is at a historic low of 10.5%, half of what it was 35 years ago and far below its 1954 peak of 35%. If so many people support unions, why aren't they in one?
Part of that answer may lie in education - or lack thereof - about unions.
"These numbers are confirming what we've long known, that working people believe in their right to have a voice on the job, and unions are a proven way to achieve that," said International President Lonnie R. Stephenson.


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