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Union Approval Hits 14 Year High

A new Gallup poll shows that 61% of Americans support organized labor and want them to be stronger

Brian Young's picture
Aug 30, 2017

As the economy has been improving, the wage gap has been widening. With more and more economic inequality, unions have been making a comeback. UCOMM has previously reported how organizing drives are increasing and has covered some recent organizing victories from around the country. This organizing seems to be working as a new Gallup poll shows that support for unions is at a 14-year high.

The recent Gallup poll tells us that 61% of Americans say they approve of unions.  This is the highest level of support since 2003. It is also a large increase from 2009 when only 48% of Americans told Gallup that they supported unions. Throughout the Obama administration, unions worked hard to increase their approval ratings, but they never got above 60%.

The poll also found that 39% of Americans would like to see unions have more influence, which is an all-time high.  Comparatively, those who want labor unions to have less influence is at a record low of 28%.

While support for unions remained steady among Democrats at 81%, unions did gain significant support among Republicans. The Gallup poll found that while most Republicans still oppose unions, 42% support them. This is a massive 10% increase over last year when only 32% of Republicans indicated support.

While unions have spent the last few decades working hard to reshape their image and reach out to new groups of workers, like immigrants and other low wage workers, Gallup thinks that Trump may also have played a role in it. They speculate that Trump’s rhetoric on bringing jobs back to America may have reminded blue collar Republicans about the important work that unions do. What’s clear is that as attacks on unions continue to come from dark money figures like the Koch Brothers, the American people are looking past these attacks and asking for organized labor to stand up and take back the power that they once had. 

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