Market Overview

Bloomberg Poll Reveals Opinions On Union Battle


According to a Bloomberg National Poll, most Americans do not support Republicans' fight against unions.

Of the Americans polled from March 4 through March 7, 63 percent do not think that states should be able to break their promises to retirees. Roughly half of the respondents believe that governors are targeting unions “unfairly,” while 46 percent feel that employees should be willing to accept a cut to their benefits.

Dale Palmer, a 59-year-old Democrat who responded to the poll, told Bloomberg that the Republican Party “sees an opportunity to attack and possibly destroy the base of their opponents' political power.”

Over the next two years, states face budget deficits of $175 billion. Worse yet, tax revenue has yet to rebound from the recession (and until there are more jobs to go around, that isn't likely to change – people can't pay taxes if they aren't working). Since August 2008, states have eliminated 82,000 jobs.

Additionally, respondents were asked if they thought that government workers do better than private-sector employees. Forty-three percent believe that they are better compensated, while only 21 percent say that government workers receive lower wages. Twenty-seven percent believe that the pay is about the same.

But the most significant statistic may surround the positive opinion of public employees, with 72 percent of respondents saying that they had a favorable view of government workers.

Currently, public employees accounted for the majority of union members in America. Bloomberg says that in 2010, 7.6 of the 14.7 million U.S. union members worked in the public sector.

Posted-In: Bloomberg Democratic Party private-sector workers public workersNews Movers & Shakers Politics General


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