By Ken Feltman
In the wake of the Wisconsin recall vote and the publicity about public employee unions and their influence on government spending for pensions and other benefits, Radnor asked 890 Americans about their impressions of unions in America.
We asked two question to try to determine whether trade and industrial unions are perceived differently from public employee unions. The answer is a loud “yes.” The survey was conducted on June 7-8, 2012, when the Wisconsin recall vote was in the news.
The two questions were simple. First, we asked if trade and industrial unions are good or bad for the United States. Forty-seven percent (47%) answered “good” and 24% said “bad,” with 29% not giving an answer.
Then we asked about public employee unions: Sixteen percent (16%) said public employee unions were “good” for the country, 62% said they are “bad” for the U.S. and 22% gave no answer.
The two questions were part of a larger survey of opinions conducted by a national research firm. The survey was conducted by telephone and included people from 34 states who said they are registered voters. Thirteen percent (13%) said they belong to a union or live in a household with a union member.
Clearly, the image of public employee unions is not a strength of the labor movement.