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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Public support for unions at its highest in decades, this week in the war on workers

Gallup’s annual pre-Labor Day poll on approval of unions is out, and unions hit their highest level since 1965. Sixty-eight percent of people told the pollster they approve of unions. In 1965, 71% said they approved.

The all-time high approval rating in the poll was 75%, coming in 1953 and 1957. The all-time low was 48% in 2009. While the Great Recession was understood as a reason for that 2009 low mark, the COVID-19 economy has obviously not had the same effect. That’s a fascinating shift. Also interesting: support among people aged 18 to 34 was 77%.

And yet union membership is much, much lower than public support—pointing directly to how difficult both employers and U.S. labor law make it to organize.

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