Apparently, reports of the demise of organized labor are greatly exaggerated. According to a Gallup poll conducted from August 2 to 6, 2017, 61% of adults answered that they approve when asked, “Do you approve or disapprove of unions?” This is the highest percentage since 2003, when 65% said they approve.
While only 22% of respondents believe unions will become stronger in the future and 46% believe they will become weaker, 39% of respondents would like unions in the United States to have more influence. This is the highest figure recorded in the 18 years Gallup has asked the question.
According to Gallup.com, the poll results are based on telephone interviews conducted among a random sample of 1,017 adults at least 18 years old, living in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The margin of error is ±4%.
Employers should make note of this result. A likely significant reason for the decline in the number of unionized employees in the private sector (now at 6.6%) has been Americans’ negative view of unions. Indeed, unions know this. Not long ago, the AFL-CIO spent millions of dollars on an advertising campaign touting the slogan “Union Yes,” which was designed to promote a positive view of unions (hence, the “Yes”). Now that six out of 10 Americans view unions positively, a window has opened for unions to regain some of the strength they once had.