Intercepts

A listening post monitoring public education and teachers’ unions.

Gallup Poll Shows Public Doesn’t Buy Unions’ “Fair Share” Argument

Written By: Mike Antonucci - Sep• 04•14

For each Labor Day, Gallup runs a poll on Americans’ attitude towards labor unions. This year’s edition didn’t supply any surprises, except this time Gallup asked specifically about right-to-work laws.

Most pollsters would stop right there, but Gallup also tested the arguments of both sides about right-to-work laws.

The popularity of right-to-work laws may be a result of Americans’ greater agreement with a major argument put forth by right-to-work proponents than by one of the main arguments put forth by opponents of such laws. The poll finds 82% of Americans agreeing that “no American should be required to join any private organization, like a labor union, against his will,” a position advanced by right-to-work proponents. Pro-union forces partly oppose right-to-work laws because of the “free-rider” problem, with non-union workers benefitting as much as union workers when unions negotiate pay and benefit increases with employers. But by 64% to 32%, Americans disagree that workers should “have to join and pay dues to give the union financial support” because “all workers share the gains won by the labor union.”

When your cornerstone argument is failing by a two-to-one margin, it probably is time to consider contingencies.

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