Poll: Public approval of unions hits 15-year high

Labor organizations are enjoying their highest popularity in over a decade with the American public, according to a recent public opinion poll.  

The poll, conducted by Gallup, showed 62 percent of those surveyed said they approved of labor unions--up from a low of 48 percent approval just a decade ago. 

The Gallup organization said In fact the recent approval figure is approaching support levels seen during a previous peak in the American labor movement--in the middle of the last century. "[S]upport for unions was relatively high across the first three decades of measurement, averaging 68% from 1936 to 1967," the polling organization noted. "During this period, approval never dropped below 61 percent, and twice—both times in the 1950s—it stretched to 75 percent." 

The American Federation of Government Employees in a press release, celebrated the continuing rise of union popularity in opinion polls. AFGE pointed out that the improving outlook on labor organizations actually comes against the odds: during a time of unprecedented effort by anti-union forces to use advertising and other marketing to convince the public that unions are outdated and not needed. 

The public, however, apparently has not been convinced by these concerted—and well-financed—efforts. 

"Despite corporations’ and politicians’ jointed efforts to cripple unions and union members, unions in America have enjoyed steady public support over the past decade," AFGE said. 

Reader comments

Mon, Sep 24, 2018

Re "Unions have in general sold out" ... I have to say they haven't sold out as much as YOUR comment implies YOU HAVE. Your comment says they provide "little action" in exchange for dues. But you offer no specifics. Fact is, that in real specifics--economic statistics--those states that have more union workers see better wages and better working conditions. Even if you control for historic factors of regional poverty, like in the South, you still see that unions help a great deal. Well worth the dues. You and your constant "minions"-blaming blather and nonspecific jibberjabber ought to go address a more appropriate, Fisher-Price - gaming audience. Let me spell it out: your comments are almost always childish and without evidence. Having said that, good luck and God bless you in your personal and family life. But, man, get it together on adult speech.

Fri, Sep 21, 2018

Unions have in general sold out to political minion whims and management. They are good at talking a lot and taking dues with little action on the front of benefits, pay etc.

Tue, Sep 18, 2018

Without unions there would be no overtime pay, weekends, guaranteed leave, pensions (for those who still have those) or any of the other benefits to which workers have become accustomed. We would be little powerless worker bees, squashed at the whim of our employers. Think China and other countries with no worker protections.

Tue, Sep 18, 2018

Great news!! So the Janus decision came at a great time then. Unions do not need to force non-members to pay administration fees, since public approval is so high!

Tue, Sep 18, 2018

Now ask, "Are you willing to pay $XX from each paycheck to support the union?" and see what happens to that 62% approval rating.

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

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