Poll: Americans Favor Collective Bargaining Rights for Unions Poll: Americans Favor Collective Bargaining Rights for Unions
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Poll: Americans Favor Collective Bargaining Rights for Unions

by Liz Dwyer

March 5, 2011

The 2011 Wisconsin budget protests are heading into their third week and protesters continue to swarm the State Capitol in Madison in support of public employees' right to collective bargaining. Throughout the standoff with Governor Scott Walker, public employee unions, especially teachers unions, have been demonized as greedy and corrupt. So, where does the general public stand on Walker's demand that the unions pay more for health care and retirement, freeze salaries, and give up their collective bargaining rights?

According to a just-released NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, when it comes to states being able to ask their teachers, firefighters, garbage collectors and police to pay more for their retirement, 68 percent say it's acceptable. When it comes to paying more for health care, 63 percent say public employees should do so, and when it comes to the state being able to freeze salaries for a year, 58 percent agree.

Given the tough economic times, the unions have already conceded to all of those demands. But they're not budging on collective bargaining, and it turns out that the majority of American's agree with them.

62 percent of respondents say it's unacceptable to "eliminate these employees' collective bargaining rights as a way to deal with state budget deficits."

Clearly, regardless of how they feel about unions, America's not standing with Governor Walker. With the public not in his corner, when will Walker see the need to compromise like the unions already have?

Photo from @MadDanWSJ

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Poll: Americans Favor Collective Bargaining Rights for Unions