Gallup has released new data on the public’s support for unions, and the results are good news for organized labor in the US.
According to the report published at the end of August, 61% of US adults approve of labor unions, the highest level since 2003. Also encouraging is that a higher percentage would like to see unions have more influence than less. Although the number appears low at 39%, it is significantly higher than the 25% low point in 2009. The percentage who think unions should have less influence has also been steadily declining since 2009.
Although these numbers are encouraging, Gallup also found that US adults are pessimistic about the future, with 46% believing unions will become weaker. That number has gone down slightly, but is still overwhelmingly more than those who think they will stay the same or become stronger. After years of concentrated attacks against organized labor, especially by state legislatures and so-called “Right to Work” laws, there is work to be done to bolster the public’s trust in unions and counteract anti-labor policies.
What does all this mean for NMU AAUP? As university professors, we are impacted by budget and policy decisions at home and in Lansing. With a strong union we are able to improve our working conditions and protect our members, and the public’s support allows us to more effectively achieve those goals as a local chapter and as part of the nationwide AAUP.
For more on Gallup’s survey, visit http://www.gallup.com/poll/217331/labor-union-approval-best-2003.aspx