Big Labor and its acolytes are promoting a Gallup poll that suggests widespread support for organized labor.
The survey found that 71 percent of Americans favored unions. This is an increase of 64 percent before the pandemic and 48 percent in 2009.
They say that figures from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), showing the increase in the number of unionized wage and salary workers to 14.3 million during 2022, is even more telling than the previous year’s figures, are even more telling.
It would be the most impressive showing of unions since the 1960s.
These notions are corroborated by statistics from DOL that show that the percentage of union members in the total workforce is actually higher than ever.
The agency reports:
“The 2022 unionization ratio (10.1%) is the lowest recorded. 1983 was the first year comparable data were available for union data. In 1983, the union membership rate stood at 20.1 percent. There were 17.7 million union workers.
Both trends can be true. Which is more important?
A Jan. 23 Axios article headlined “Why labor’s popularity isn’t translating into union membership” uses the views of labor-affiliated academics as a way to explain the gap.
The authors claim that Big Labor “hasn’t adapted” to the new realities of modern business, and “nor has it given enough support to grassroots workers who are organizing themselves.”
The truth is simpler. What people say has very little to no relationship with how they actually act.
Another Gallup poll, taken prior to the last election, showed that the Congressional approval rating had dropped to 18 percent. However, very few incumbents were elected to office after the final count.
Americans, as always, make distinctions between themselves and others.
Similar results could be obtained depending on how the survey was conducted. Respondents might also say that they are favorable to an entity that claims to fight for the rights of workers who are underdogs in their struggle against corporate bosses.
However, the majority of workers at the individual level are satisfied with their current employment arrangement.
They are more accepting of the scum they work for than people rumored to be exploiting them elsewhere, just like voters.
More importantly, the opinions of the 90 percent who aren’t unionized – and likely never were – simply cannot be given the same weight as those who have had to make a decision regarding workplace representation in the real world.
Workers in the private sector have declined this privilege for many reasons. They have had the option of joining a union in the past, but have not been able to do so in increasing numbers over the years. Many states have made it a condition of employment to require union membership or payment.
That changed on paper in 2018 when the U.S. Supreme Court in Janus v. AFSCME ruled that mandatory union participation within the public sector was a violation of workers’ First Amendment rights of free speech and association.
According to LM-2 membership data for the nation’s four largest public-sector unions:
The National Education Association (NEA) has lost 103,198 members in the past two years
American Federation of Teachers (AFT) is down by 11,059
The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Workers (AFSCME) has seen its membership slashed by 29,303
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has lost 16,655 over the same span
The right to opt-out has always existed under the U.S. Constitution, but unions continue to suppress information about Janus and fight tenaciously against every brave worker deciding to do what’s best for his or her family rather than Big Labor and the overwhelmingly leftist political agenda it supports with other people’s money.
It’s easy to tell a pollster that you approve of unions if you don’t have one taking dues money out of your paycheck and giving it to candidates or causes you don’t like.
However, the only opinion that really matters is that of union members who vote with their feet more often and overwhelmingly.