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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

TDS Co-Editor Ruy Teixeira: Public Says Protect Collective Bargaining

For the second straight week, TDS Co-Editor Ruy Teixeira’s latest ‘Public Opinion Snapshot’ takes a look at public attitudes toward taking away collective bargaining rights, and finds “This week the signals from the public are even clearer. Poll after poll rolled in with the same basic finding–taking away collective bargaining rights is unacceptable to the public.” Teixeira explains:

Consider these results from the new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. Respondents were asked whether it was acceptable to eliminate public employees’ right to collectively bargain over health care, pensions, and other benefits as a way of dealing with state budget deficits. The public said no by almost 2:1 (62-33).

Those who think the public is much less supportive of public employee collective bargaining rights than for private sector employees, should review the NBC/WSJ poll and think again. As Teixeira notes,

The poll also asked whether state workers who belong to a union should have the same right to collectively bargain over benefits as workers in private companies who belong to a union. The response was an ever more overwhelming 77-19 in favor of unionized state workers’ right to collectively bargain over benefits.

“What part of “don’t take away state workers’ collective bargaining rights” does Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker not understand?,” asks Teixeira. “Or does he simply not care what the public thinks? The latter seems a distinct possibility given conservatives’ track record on this score.”

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