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Americans favor union bargaining rights by 2-1 margin: poll

By Sahil Kapur
Wednesday, February 23, 2011 9:27 EDT
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WASHINGTON – Americans decisively support laws ensuring the collective bargaining rights of public employee unions by a nearly two-to-one margin, according to a new USA Today/Gallup poll.

Sixty-one percent said they oppose legislation stripping those rights in their states, as compared to only 33 percent who said they favor such laws, a striking discrepancy that shows public opinion firmly on one side of a growing national fight. Six percent had no opinion.

The wide margin could influence the outcome of a now high-profile skirmish over Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s new budget measure curtailing the ability of public employee unions to collectively bargain for salaries and benefits.

Wisconsin Democrats fled the state last week in protest and have not yet returned, bringing government activity in the state to a halt as thousands gather in Madison to demonstrate against the proposal. Republicans, who control the legislature, say they won’t seek other ways to push through the measure without the missing Democrats.

The public’s was also deeply divided on how best to solve state budget crises, a critical important issue as many legislatures grapple over ways to bridge their deficits that resulted from the recession.

Fifty-three percent opposed cutting pay or benefits for state employees; 44 percent supported it. The public was divided down the middle on whether to cut state spending programs, and seventy-one percent opposed increasing taxes or revenues to cover their shortfalls.

Republican Govs. Rick Scott of Florida and Mitch Daniels of Indiana on Tuesday opted not to follow in Walker’s footsteps, and abandoned plans in their states to close their budget deficit by curtailing the rights of unions, which could signal a shift in momentum.

Walker maintains that he won’t back down on his proposal, guaranteeing a continued face-down between pro- and anti-union forces until one side blinks.

 
 
 
 
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  • DesertSun59

    That 33% is very close to the number of supporters of Bush in his heyday, his supporters after he left office and the number of Teatard/Christianists that vote each election cycle.

    That number continues to show that between 1/4 and 1/3 of the nation’s voters are ill-informed and would absolutely vote in a fascist state to rule the entire country.

    THOSE are your real enemies.

  • Anonymous

    TAX the wealthy: repeal bush tax cuts…..

  • Anonymous

    About 24% of the people are dumbasses and that is the number you have to overcome to win an election out of the chute. The book, “What’s The Matter With Kansas”, lays it out. These baffoons would vote for hitler, if hitler was on the anti-abortion party. I actually had a pastor/wife team knocking on doors in my neighborhood that told me that.

  • Anonymous

    What’s truly stunning is that one in three Americans apparently fail to realize that their lunch breaks, their eight hour work day, their overtime pay, their (possibly) more than subsistence wages, their children not working in coal mines all day etc. — are almost entirely the result of unions.

    Nevertheless, it remains heartening that the relentless propaganda campaign against unions — which has been funded over time to the tune of billions of dollars — has failed to convince two-thirds of the population. What the US really needs is a resurgence of the anarchist IWW — which had a directly democratic organizational structure and was the first American Union to incorporate women, African Americans, immigrants etc. They were violently destroyed during and after WWI — with a young J. Edgar Hoover commanding operations.

    Unfortunately, most unions nowadays have a hierarchical structure in which the “leaders” are in bed with management. The “leaders” tell people to “go back to work” and they oblige. There is no reason whatsoever that unions need to organize themselves hierarchically, or that they need to exclude workers from other industries. One big union baby, and direct democracy for all.

  • ProgressiveInNewYork

    Just push the meme, “Tax The Corporations”.
    Most folks have a pretty avid distrust of big corporations right now.

    That way no one will ‘think’ (implied ability) they are getting taxed.

  • http://twitter.com/indieload indieload

    OMG….Walker takes phony call from Koch Bro and gives away his strategy….PLEASE Repost:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBnSv3a6Nh4

  • Anonymous

    Organized labor is one of the most distorted issues in our nations history. People don’t “know” why they need unions right now, that story has been demonized for decades. What’s driving the polls is an innate feeling among Americans that corporations (through the state) will eat us unless we organize and fight back!

  • Anonymous

    This is great! I forwarded it to state senator Jon Erpenbach. Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    Regrettably, they are no longer Bush tax cuts – they are Bush/Obama tax cuts.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, this was my last straw regarding Obama. Unless and until he reinstates the tax rates we had under Clinton, he will not get my vote. (OK, here comes the tirade of angry responses from obamapologists)

  • Anonymous

    I’m thinking that when the Obama Administration moved into the White House…they never turned the TV channels off FOX news…(I swear that most of Obama’s staff seems watch FOX news, exclusively)…just like Bush/Cheney’s administrtation did…might explain a lot. I think we should send a petition to some one inside the White House to turn the channel …

  • Anonymous

    Gee, I wonder who else opposed Unions:

    May 1933: Hitler Abolishes Unions

    http://newsjunkiepost.com/2011/02/20/may-1933-hitler-abolishes-unions/

  • kiboshki

    What’s truly stunning is that one in three Americans apparently fail to realize that their lunch breaks, their eight hour work day, their overtime pay, their (possibly) more than subsistence wages, their children not working in coal mines all day etc. — are almost entirely the result of unions.

    This is absolutely the case. The biggest problem I’ve had recently in talking to cons is that they have no clue about the history of labor (or anything else, really) in this country.

    If you try telling them that all those basic things we take for granted– weekends, health and safety, child labor laws– are the result of labor movements, a typical teabagger will simply say “That’s not true.” Point them to an encyclopedia, and they’ll call it “librul elitist propaganda”. At that point, what can you do?

    There’s a HUGE fraction of the American population that is flat-out brainwashed, and quite frankly, un-fixable.

    Unfortunately, most unions nowadays have a hierarchical structure in which the “leaders” are in bed with management.

    Sadly, this may also be true, and is the standard way large organization tend to stagnate, especially where “big bucks” rules the day. There’s some hope that with the new found vigor of recent days, maybe they’re be scared straight, for a time at least.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IOO5JIYNYXAHBUJRQR6ZV33RVY gail

    The poll is misleading. It counted people who weren’t wealthy.

  • Anonymous

    I’m really stunned that so many Americans support unions. Perhaps they realize how much unions have done to create the middle class.

    Maybe there’s hope for democracy in the US after all.

  • Guest

    “I think we should send a petition to some one inside the White House to turn the channel … ”

    Sorry. They don’t read ANYTHING we send. We are only “We the People” and they are the Royalty.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Zentrails/100001475536421 Bob Zentrails

    Let’s thank those “dumbasses” because they have just handed the DEMs the 2012 election on a platter.

    What better wedge issue can you have than “Vote Dem the Repubs want to destroy all the unions in the country to help out their rich buddies.”

    This one is going to leave a mark. LOL

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Zentrails/100001475536421 Bob Zentrails

    Let’s not judge Obama’s political skills quite so hastily, nyupstater.

    Obama has just taken his first advantage of the Repub Union-busting over-reach by declaring DOMA act to be a law which will no longer be defended in court by his administration, thereby nullifying it just as effectively as Bush did with his secret signing statements.

    Only Obama did it in an official press release, not secretly, like the dishonest Bush administration did.

    What we have here is a perfect storm for the DEMs. They are able to pass what they want, while the GOP exposes themselves for what they really are: Stooges for the Rich.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/FPBFO6RC5R2HHIP3VXSFU2RZQA mjj

    Let me remind everyone here that if you don’t belong to a union you can than former union members and actions for you having any benefits and a decent wage if that is the case. If the unions lose YOU lose as well. It is organized labor that is reponsible for getting health care, vacations, improved working conditions, the 40 hour week , holidays , workmens comp insurance, etc etc etc.

  • Anonymous

    I think they should ask those taking the poll if they watch Fox channel and listen to Rush Limbaugh….I would be willing to bet those against the workers have been drinking the pro-corporate kool aid from Fox and Limbaugh.

  • Anonymous

    The Fox Entertainment Channel will probably get the numbers upsidedown and claim the result is just the opposite for “Fairness and Balance.”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3QIJ4LGZX6PZOJSD57QIC3NRAA Straw

    It’s too bad the Wisconsin governor isn’t elected nationally.

  • Anonymous

    What I found fascinating was that the Orange County Register was just saying this morning that the opposite was true. If so, the poll was probably taken only in the Newport Beach, Corona del Mar and Irvine area.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah good strategy for the dems. Bet the house on people feeling sorry for the unions. Only problem is total union membership in the U.S. is under 12%, down about 50% in the last 15 years. Less than 7% of Americans belong to private sector unions. Speaking from the 93%, a lot of folks don’t much appreciate hearing unions whine about benefits when they don’t even have a job – especially hearing public sector unions whine about having to contribute to their pension funds, when the taxpayers pay their salaries. I suppose the WH also is not too keen on having the likes of Dick Trumka being the poster-children for BHO’s 2012 campaign. I think the WH’s hesitance to insert themselves in this debate is evidence of that. But if you think it will work, by all means…

  • Anonymous

    I am so pleased by this poll. I would have thought that the results would have been the other way around. This is good news for democracy!

  • Anonymous

    Hey teapartynuts/republicans,take those numbers and dwell on them you filth bags.

  • Anonymous
  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NO4EXXA4CF5SCNMNNV4UX2WK6Y Scott

    The dems have a problem(Obama included) in that they are funded by the richies too in many cases and support (somewhat less obvious) corporatist policies too. If your economic team has former Goldman Sachs people in it(Geithner) and long time ‘free traders’ who helped shepherd through NAFTA(Summers), then you’re at least a little corporatist. If they could kick the addiction to corporate money to fund the campaign and actually support policy that helps the middle class, AND somehow get the corporate media to report it that way, they could win a landslide. BUT, that is a hell of a lot of ifs, and the corporate media would at best not cover this stance at all(like most of the anti-war and anti-union busting protests), so they are stuck being Resmuglicrook-lite.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NO4EXXA4CF5SCNMNNV4UX2WK6Y Scott

    You’re right to hell with this piddly 39.5%, lets fight to repeal the REAGAN tax cuts(go back to 74% top margin), or even better the KENNEDY/JOHNSON tax cuts(go back to Eisenhower’s 91%)

  • Anonymous

    I strongly favor union rights, but they must not be confused by what unions actually do:
    http://www.opednews.com/articles/Letter-to-NEA-Leadership–by-Daniel-Geery-101027-833.html
    http://www.endteacherabuse.org

  • http://SALON WHITE DRAGON

    ‘Workers have kept faith in American institutions. Most of the conflicts, which have occurred have been when labor’s right to live has been challenged and denied.’
    John L. Lewis- UMW

    We must not forget that there were once Americans like this.

  • cannotvote

    Unions are there because if they weren’t we’d really be slaves – they are an equal and opposite reaction to the thuggery of the immoral employer.

  • Johnny Warbucks

    Now, all we have to do is get that 50% of Americans to take to the streets (particularly Wall Street and Pennsylvania Avenue) and show them how it’s done.

  • Johnny Warbucks

    Everybody knows that the article was published by the libural media.

    The libural media is biased.

    Obama made them say that.

    1 out of 2 is nothing. There is still 1 out of 2 that doesn’t agree.

    The blankety blank that did the poll is paid by George Soros.

    ACORN is behind it.

    Nancy Pelosi lies.

  • Johnny Warbucks

    Huh?

  • Anonymous

    Walker is not influenced by facts. Plans to cut their states deficits by curtailing union rights? This is a non-sequitor. Curtailing union rights has nothing to do with budget deficits. It is war on the working people to disempower the working class. This is not about money directly. The Koch party are starting to show their hand. I expect we will have this kind of battle going on until the next election, where we can hope the people will realize their error in voting for Koch party candidates.

  • Anonymous

    Look for the complete message in the more appropriately titled “Fox News Flips Results of Pro-Union Poll.

  • Anonymous

    And the 33 percent who are against union bargaining rights are all suffering from a severe case of KOCH ENVY.

  • Anonymous

    Well , actually they are the other way around if you watch Fox News . Somehow they managed to get the numbers backwards , honest mistake no doubt .

  • Anonymous

    Of course! It’s always an, “honest mistake” on Fox!

  • H.P. Loathecraft

    “The public’s was also deeply divided on how best to solve state budget crises, a critical important issue as many legislatures grapple over ways to bridge their deficits that resulted from the recession.”

    The public’s what?
    I love you, Raw. But this story was posted at breakfast and the above line hasn’t been fixed yet? Sheesh.

  • H.P. Loathecraft

    As it seems it always has been and likely ever shall be.

  • H.P. Loathecraft

    “A pastor/wife team”. Anybody else finding it warm in here?

    Gotta read that book one of these days. I have seen the author pundit on TV and on Democracy Now!
    I have Family of Secrets cued up next. I am told it’s the book to read for those that think they know anything about the Bushes.

  • H.P. Loathecraft

    I should hope so. Any TV picking it up?

  • H.P. Loathecraft

    It’s about to grow. Thanks for the publicity. people are getting educated as to unions’ significance.
    Seriously, thanks, Scott Walker. You are a giver of gifts. This is an Egypt moment.

    PS-If you are opposed to unions, I guess it is safe to assume you oppose the Chamber of Commerce and the NRA.

    a : an act or instance of uniting or joining two or more things into one: as (1) : the formation of a single political unit from two or more separate and independent units (2) : a uniting in marriage; also : sexual intercourse (3) : the growing together of severed parts
    b : a unified condition : combination, junction
    2
    : something that is made one : something formed by a combining or coalition of parts or members: as
    a : a confederation of independent individuals (as nations or persons) for some common purpose
    b (1) : a political unit constituting an organic whole formed usually from units which were previously governed separately (as England and Scotland in 1707) and which have surrendered or delegated their principal powers to the government of the whole or to a newly created government (as the United States in 1789) (2) capitalized : the federal union of states during the period of the American Civil War
    c capitalized : an organization on a college or university campus providing recreational, social, cultural, and sometimes dining facilities; also : the building housing such an organization
    d : the set of all elements belonging to one or more of a given collection of two or more sets —called also join, sum
    e : labor union
    3
    a : a device emblematic of the union of two or more sovereignties borne on a national flag typically in the upper inner corner or constituting the whole design of the flag
    b : the upper inner corner of a flag
    4
    : any of various devices for connecting parts (as of a machine); especially : a coupling for pipes or pipes and fittings

  • H.P. Loathecraft

    That is all true, but this is a radical frontal assault on the middle class.

  • H.P. Loathecraft

    My sister gave up on Obama just late in 2010. I told her I understood her hesitation and forgave the delay.
    She’s family.

  • H.P. Loathecraft

    I don’t think it’s “Obama’s political skills” that most progressives have issues with.

  • H.P. Loathecraft

    What was it ticked us off? BP?

  • H.P. Loathecraft

    So fällt es Adolph, den Hitler ein Kochsucker war, auch aus.

  • H.P. Loathecraft

    Wow. Again?

  • H.P. Loathecraft

    Saturday would be timely.

  • H.P. Loathecraft

    arf

  • Johnny Warbucks

    Why wait till Saturday?

  • Anonymous

    thanks for a little chuckle this morning…we must keep our senses of humor…this they cannot take away.

  • Taleisin

    61% to 33%. America isn’t ready for a change. not with these figures.

    The shenanigans will continue until more Americans can work it out.
    The dream is turning into a nightmare. Now if you want the dream back, you keep sleeping, OR
    you can wake up.
    61% may be awake. The 2%ers have still got at least 31% asleep.

  • Taleisin

    You have Pastor/wife teams know on your doors? lol. rofl.
    And they tell you they would vote for Hitler. hahahahhaah (Now I am worried about wetting my pants and I have excellent control. Vision blurry. Deep Breaths. AUM. I’m OK now.) No I’m not. hahahahahahahahahah
    If they came to my house, I would fuck with their brains.

    I got out of the shower one Saturday morning and I saw the blues brothers walking my driveway.
    Dad and son team with Jehovah Witness briefcases. You know the ones.

    Being a tree hugger, I have a ponytail. So i scratch my hair into caveman mode, put on a sarong, grabbed the tribal mask of the wall. I opened the door, looked over the mask and went gave a Maori greeting. ‘Blah!’
    Shit their pants. lol

    They were very nice people. We enjoyed coffee and a chat. They stopped coming after 3 visits.

  • Anonymous

    You are misinformed and uneducated on the facts. The reason only 7% of people belong to private sector unions is because the Repubs have been on a union-butsitng campaign since Reagan took office. Part of that campaign included having Michael Bennet, as Sec of Eductation, remove labor history from textbooks so that students neveer learned how much labor unions contributed to the economic strength of this country. They also chip away at labor’s right to organize and form unions in the workplace, while pushing states to pass “right to work” laws, which really mean “right to work for slave wages”.

  • Anonymous

    As for people being ignoramt of labor history: When Bennet (rememberr him?) was Sec of Educ under reagan, he had all labor history removed from school textbooks, so that no one would learn about the contribution of labor to the US economy.

    As for the hierarchical structure inc which leaders are in bed with management: All organizations have “hierarchical structures”. It’s how they work. Unions are democratically operated organizations with members who elect officers. If a member doesn’t like what the officers are doing, they have the option of voting them out or replacing them by running themselves. Democracy, in whatever organization, is not a spectator sport. If you want change, you must participate in the process.

  • Anonymous

    It’s too bad that so many citizens of Wisconsin failed to turn out and VOTE.

  • Anonymous

    How’s that hate and despair thing working out for you?

  • ladygeek

    But Faux always lies about anything that people like us can see in plain sight. I hope that Faux finds that it will die a slow death when the workers unite against them. And, I don’t mean just union members because we all have a stake in how this anti-union uprising goes.

  • ladygeek

    The key to keeping the workers with full rights under their contract needs to be better explained to people who don’t understand what this means to them. It was unions that gave non-union workers things like a 40 hour work week, increasing the wages of workers as negotiated, health insurance, life insurance, disability benefits, holiday pay, vacations, pensions and safety rules.

    These things elevate the pay and benefits for workers in a non-union organizations (public and private organizations).

    When I worked in labor relations, the philosophy that I still subscribe to is that if a company has a union, they probably have very poor management and a hazardous work place. I think that is still very relevant especially with all these repukes who are trying to bust the public employee unions and if successful (I don’t want that) they will start on companies and non-profits. I don’t think that will happen at this point as long as we all support the union members everywhere in the US.

  • ladygeek

    You probablty need more time for people to participate who are coming from long distances, like Alaska for example. Everyone is pretty much standing up for the union.

  • ladygeek

    I was just listening to Ed Schultz and he is trying to push a recall election for Walker. However, it can’t be done until next January. I think that’s a good option but I don’t know if workers and citizens can wait that long.

  • ladygeek

    I support your status but I wanted to mention that the members of a union can always organize without the NEA. I don’t remember the statistics anymore but I know it’s pretty complex and hard to do BUT it might be the only option that makes sense. I donated all of my union organizing documents and books to a non-profit that wanted that stuff because I changed careers to Information Technology which is now forcing me to change to a new career at 60.

  • NadePaulKuciGravMcKi

    FOX is now quickly backtracking
    Bill O’Reilly fears for his show

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3NVQSZZC5IM66JEOCSFJUV7FCE Jacques G

    Dear Guv Walker. Your penis and head are each on the chopping block. Which do you wish cut off: your head and lose your office by recall or impeachment most likely or, your penis and lose your manhood as they humiliate you for this partisan folly. Tough choice, eh? But You’d STILL have that baseball bat with your name on it. This is an opportunity for Unions to have a Renaissance.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3NVQSZZC5IM66JEOCSFJUV7FCE Jacques G

    That segment still demonstrates it has the intelligence of a brick.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3NVQSZZC5IM66JEOCSFJUV7FCE Jacques G

    But, don’t forget public employees PAY TAXES TOO and contribute to their own pensions. Those things could easily be presented and gives further traction to showing it’s Wallstreet that caused the collapses of all pensions and Unions and that Republicans destroyed the Unions in the first place. Remember it was busting autoworker’s unions, Air traffic controllers unions etc with RAY-gun that started it all. That’s good fodder for a well planned and fought campaign. It could be a way to inspire people to rejoin or re-form lost unions.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3NVQSZZC5IM66JEOCSFJUV7FCE Jacques G

    See my post to adamfromtampa above. I totally like whaty you point out.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3NVQSZZC5IM66JEOCSFJUV7FCE Jacques G

    Oh, so, true….

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3NVQSZZC5IM66JEOCSFJUV7FCE Jacques G

    No, just people who dislike voter seppekku. That’s what got us here in the first place.

  • Pope Pisius

    You ain’t too bright, eh, boy?

  • ladygeek

    I think that johnny is being a satirist kinda like Al Franken used to do in all his books and his website. Sorry that you didn’t pick that up. Here’s to you, Johnny!!

  • ladygeek

    I’m not surprised. Orange County is at the heart of the John Birch Society.

  • ladygeek

    Not just the citizens of WI – apparently most of the democrats didn’t go to the polls. That’s how the repukes won. Voters can be very finicky and frequently uninformed or are low information. That’s what got Ronald Reagan the election in 1980. After that, it’s been all downhill for workers and there was only Bill Clinton in the mix between the repukes and the dems. So now we have to deal with the results of that election which is not going to be easy. WI is the front line at the moment but many states will be doing the same thing. It’s not just the Koch brothers – it’s all of executives who get large bonuses which are really obscene.

    I hope that worker and union support strenghens over the next year and then start recalling these repukes including John Kasich of Ohio. Ohio is significant because their polling is questionable since they use voting machines supplied by vendors that are constantly being analyzed and support by blackbox.org.

  • ladygeek

    Well, what do you expect from people who get their news from the likes of Rush, Beck, Bachmann, Palin, and others who are low information providers. It’s easier for these voters to listen to these folks because the situations that are now being dealt with requires a deep understanding of history, politics, history and archeology. I’d rather that voters be given an IQ test. I’m not the first one to say that. At the very least, they should really understand American history.

  • ladygeek

    Democracy is a form of government not a union (economics). While this is good news, it really doesn’t do anything either way for the 2 major parties. I’ve described the difference between politics and economics in a different post but essentially economics doesn’t actually have the power to change anything. Economics and political science used to be separate fields of study but are now split evenly. Economics can influence politics but has next to no control to the political.

    The real area that needs to be overcome is the economic powers that be (John Kasich in OH) have to find a way to overcome the rights that unions have. He can’t do that. I don’t think that anyone can do that and hopefully the workers in WI can demonstrate long enough for these idiots to be defeated without a challenge. I think that this is probably pretty likely.

    Labor relations is a very complicated legal specialty and the best attorneys in this field are very expensive. Good but expensive. Let’s just hope that the WI unions are getting good legal advice which wouldn’t surprise me. This whole general people who have joined this campaign are fighting not only for the rights that are due to them but it will also be a long battle in the courts. Eventually they will win but over time, these rethugs can change strategies.

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