A new Gallup Poll finds labor union approval at its highest since 2003, but one Right to Work advocate argues that Americans need to read between the numbers.
Sixty-one percent of American adults say that they approve of labor unions, according to the recent Gallup Poll. That's up five percentage points from last year – and 13 points above the all-time-low found in 2009.
National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation Vice President for Public Information Patrick Semmens says that this is not unusual.
"This is just a return to union approval rates before Obama," Semmens insisted. "The Obama administration – because it was so closely linked to organized labor and to expanding union boss powers and their forced dues powers particularly … that caused the view that many Americans had of unions to go down."
Semmens also maintains that there is a big difference between approval of unions and approval of forced unionism – and the ‘compulsory unionism powers that so many union bosses rely on.’"
"We've seen past Gallup polls … This particular one didn't ask about Right to Work, but one a couple years ago did – and sure, and it had something like 53 percent of Americans had a favorable view of unions,” the legal expert pointed out. “But 71 percent said they supported Right to Work and would vote for Right to Work if it were on their ballot."
That Gallup poll was conducted in 2014, and since that time, several state legislatures passed measures to become Right to Work states.
"So, we know from that that there is a significant overlap between people who support Right to Work – which makes union dues voluntary – and those that may also like unions," Semmens stressed. "They just don't want unions to have forced dues powers."
Union approval is still not as high as it was in the 1930s or 1960s.