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Bloomberg Poll: Americans Support Collective Bargaining, Recognize Corporate Influence in Politics

The general feeling that the Republican War on Workers is out of line with the common interest is now quantified by a Bloomberg National Poll that shows that Americans reject Republican efforts to curb bargaining rights of unions. Union power, those polled say, is dwarfed by corporate influence.

The poll found that many of the issues facing workers today spawn bipartisan support from constituents and only a few issues break along party lines. One such issue is whether Governors are unfairly targeting and attacking public employees. Half of the respondents say that they believe this to be the case while 46 percent say that in times of recession workers should accept cuts. Democrats stay strong in proclaiming that recent actions by Republican Governors Scott Walker and John Kasich are partisan attacks. One responded was quoted as saying,

“The Republican Party sees an opportunity to attack and possibly destroy the base of their opponents’ political power,” says poll respondent Dale Palmer, 59, a Democrat and retired teacher from Zephyrhills, Florida.

Palmer says budget deficits are a result of the economy and years of tax cuts, not the actions of public employees. “They’re putting it now on the backs of their enemies even when these particular unions are willing to bargain,” he says.

On most other labor issues, Americans of both parties predominantly side with the working man. The Bloomberg Poll finds that Public Employees are viewed favorably by 72 percent of respondents whereas only 17 percent view them unfavorably. While 43 percent agree government employees do better than the average person, 27 percent say they do the same and 21 percent argue they may, in fact, be worse off:

Sixty-four percent of respondents, including a plurality of Republicans, say public employees should have the right to bargain collectively for their wages. Sixty-three percent, including 55 percent of Republicans, say states without enough money to pay for all the pension benefits they have promised to current retirees shouldn’t be able to break those obligations.

When it comes to pensions, Americans agree that a deal is a deal and that long-agreed upon pensions should be off limits to Government tinkering. Even some of those who believe collective bargaining rights should be curbed are against touching a worker’s pension. According to interviewee Anthony DeMarco, an industrial engineer from Havertown, Pennsylvania,

“If it had been something that agreed upon in the past — and everybody at the time agreed to it — you shouldn’t be able to change it retroactively,” says DeMarco, 40, an independent. “A deal is a deal.”

Importantly, 63 percent of respondents say corporations have more power than unions. This debunks a myth frequently by the media and foggy-eyed Righties that union influence is out of control and/or abel to wielded to dubious ends. Corporations continue to unnerve the electorate, while even younger voters are beginning to understand the corrective force of unions in politics:

Randy Turner, a 32-year old construction worker from Springfield, Missouri, who participated in the poll, says he sees unions as a corrective force against a government that exerts enough power.

“Trying to make us not have a right for unions for anything is wrong,” says Turner, an independent voter who isn’t a union member. “They help our economy, they help the job market — all kinds of things our government doesn’t help.”

Read the entire piece, Americans Oppose Republican Attack on Unions in Poll Divided Over Benefits.


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