Californians Turning on Unions?
Increasingly, Californians across nearly all age, political and demographic groups oppose organized labor, according to a new poll.
Overall, 45 percent of respondents said labor unions do “more harm than good,” while 40 percent said they do “more good than harm.”
Interestingly, it doesn’t matter whether it’s private or public employee unions. People dislike both equally.
Even Democrats are souring on one of their party’s most powerful constituencies. The independent Field Poll found that “30 percent of registered Democrats now say unions do more harm than good, up from 21 percent in the 2011 survey.”
Potential reasons include the ongoing pension and retirement benefits funding crises causing many municipalities to cut other services like public safety. An ongoing strike by public transit workers is stoking discontent in the Bay Area, heretofore a pro-union fortress.
It’s probably too early to tell how the slide in support for unions will impact California’s politics. One thing is certain, though. By overplaying their hand, unions have earned the ire of a populace predisposed to support them. If disapproval of unions turns into a clear majority, the state that touched off a wave of property tax reform in the 1970’s may become the impetus for weakening unions in the next decade.