Americans don’t like unions


Has anyone done a similar poll here? It might cause Helen Kelly and Matt McCarten a few sleepless nights.

And as much as it hurts to admit this, labor unions just aren’t very popular. In Gallup’s annual poll on confidence in institutions, unions score close to the bottom of the list, barely above big business and HMOs but behind banks. More Americans—42%—would like to see unions have less influence, and just 25% would like to see them have more. Despite a massive financial crisis and a dismal job market, approval of unions is close to an all-time low in the 75 years Gallup has been asking the question. A major reason for this is that twice as many people (68%) think that unions help mostly their members as think they help the broader population (34%). Amazingly, in Wisconsin, while only about 30% of union members voted for Walker, nearly half of those living in union households but not themselves union members voted for him (Union voters ≠ union households). In other words, apparently union members aren’t even able to convince their spouses that the things are worth all that much.


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  • Mr_Blobby

    And the rest of the World don’t like Americans so where does that leave us?

    • Speak for yourself but don’t speak for me

      • Mr_Blobby

        Speaking for myself. An American friend of mine, who travel’s frequently on business, went to Saudi Arabia. A friend and ally of America he thought. The general population hated, with great vengeance, America and everything/anyone American. The middle East is now on his, growing, do not go there again list.

        • Markm

          Wow Mr Blobby your little story really shows the world hates the Americans.
          The country that produced and funded Al Queda is not the best place to give accurate opinions on pretty much anything.
          Maybe you should get an accurate opinion on what all New Zealanders think of John Key when your next at the CTU conferene

          • Mr_Blobby

            I did, they love him. Because he hasn’t done anything to balance the books, refill the treasury, reduce public debt, reign in the arrogance of officialdom, insisted people go to work rather than live on public assistance.

        • tony

          that’s amazing – maybe you have got the ‘exception proves the rule’ thingy a little mixed up.

          • Mr_Blobby

            Don’t know about but it does look like we are on the way to a Greek financial tragedy.

    • Tony

      you may feel that way but I don’t. I have worked very closely with them over the year and to a man (etc) they are wonderfully hospitable people.

      • tony


      • Mr_Blobby

        Agree with you Tony, have some very good American friends.
        There are a lot of countries that Government to Government are friends and allies, but this view is not shared by the general population. Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan the list goes on.

        • In Vino Veritas

          Muslim countries all, that preach that America is “The Great Satan”. What do you expect Mr Blobby, or are you that niave?

  • bawaugh

    Sometimes a Union can win a battle and lose a wider war. Unions have their place and they should stick to it.

    If you start holding the public to ransom and start dictating terms then they are going to start fighting back. And if you start attacking popular things like the Hobbit then they make things worse.

    We need Singaporian unions. They do a deal with the employer and get back to work rather than holding them to ransom. Singapore has few strikes.

    In a weird way the worst enemy of the Unions in NZ has been better workplace rights and laws. When you have protection from un justified dismissal, good faith bargening for all (no take it or leave it contracts), and decent benefits like 4 weeks annual leave many of the reasons for joining a union cease.

    I heard of one us workplace which was non union in a highly unionised industry said the reason they had no union was they acted like they had one. If employers treat their workers well then it is unlikely that a union will form. If they treat them bad then the employer deserves the union that forms.

    Thank god we are not in the 1950’s where the waterside unions tried to hold the place to ransom.

  • Meg

    The problem is Americans are so used to crap work conditions they dont know how good they could have it if their bosses allowed unions.

    WalMart is a very good example of why employees need unions to protect them.

  • Positan

    For workers, the concept of unions could well have been a good one, but it never had any sort of chance to effect collective benefits at levels that might have been, due solely to the self-centered, exploitative types who chiseled and gouged their way into leadership. Once there, pretended concern for workers’ interests became very secondary to the political objectives to which they aspired and the grandiose positions to which they felt entitled. I remember well the ’50s and the agitative stupidity of those like F P Walsh, Jock Barnes and Toby Hill – and those who followed later, Skinner, Douglas and Pat Kelly.

    The ultimate union nonsense is the Labour Party – the fatuous belief that those with the least training in executive training or decision-making and the lowest possible grasp of economic considerations can, either by virtue of union-backing or the holding of any vague tertiary qualification, enter the halls of government and thus steer the country toward an elysian future. Always, union-bred “party types” are aspirational to the point of total self-delusion and, as a country, we’ve paid very dearly, many times, for the sort of uninformed incapability that our democracy permits.