Poll: USA in love with labor unions as Trump plans to destroy them
Could it be the Trump effect? Why, yes!
The American public may be falling in love with labor again under President Donald Trump.
Just a week after the President held a special “listening” session for building trade unionists at the White House, a new poll finds a positive shift in public opinion about organized labor.
Sixty percent of American adults view unions favorably, according to a new Pew Research Center survey released Monday.
That’s up 12 percentage points since March 2015, when just 48% viewed organized labor as a positive force for working Americans.
Pew Research has the details, including a lingering partisan split:
About six-in-ten adults today have a favorable view of labor unions (60%) and business corporations (56%), according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Views of both have grown more positive since March 2015, when roughly half of adults (48%) expressed a favorable view of each.
The public’s opinions of corporations and unions were largely positive throughout the early 2000s, but turned more negative during the Great Recession. Today, favorable opinions of each are at their highest levels in nearly a decade.
Republicans and Democrats have long been divided in their views of labor and business, and that remains the case today: Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents are much more favorable toward labor unions than business corporations, while the inverse is true for Republicans and Republican leaners.
Currently, 76% of Democrats hold a favorable view of unions, while only two-in-ten express an unfavorable one. Among Republicans, fewer than half (44%) say they have a favorable opinion of labor unions.
On the other hand, seven-in-ten Republicans express a positive opinion of business corporations. Democrats are divided: Roughly equal shares say they have a favorable view of business (46%) and an unfavorable one (47%).
Naturally, the GOP has become the party that puts loyalty above the interests and desires of the people, and with Trump in the driver’s seat, unions are girding for an outright assault on the New Deal:
The impending GOP attack on organized labor and workers will have multiple fronts: executive action, legislation, court rulings—and with Republicans in control of more than half the states, not just the federal government.
Unions need only look to Wisconsin and the orchestrated attack led by Republican Governor Scott Walker and his right-wing business allies to glimpse what might befall the nation. Soon after he was elected in 2010, Walker went after the state’s public-sector unions and gutted their collective-bargaining rights. After labor unions went all in on a recall election and failed, Walker went on to re-election in 2014 and signed into law right-to-work legislation the following year. Union membership rolls in Wisconsin have been decimated, significantly reducing the level of resources unions allot to organizing and politics. After Wisconsin flipped for Donald Trump, both the right and the left agreed on one thing: Walker’s attack on unions had been a deciding factor.
Clearly, the next four years for labor will be bad. How bad?
“In theory, with full GOP control, Republicans could repeal the National Labor Relations Act. They could repeal the Fair Labor Standards Act. They could repeal the entire New Deal,” says Catherine Fisk, a labor law professor at the University of California, Irvine. “There’s nothing to stop them except their own political strategy and fears of sparking a huge backlash.”
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