Americans generally support unions but say elected officials’ priority must be what’s best for the entire country.
Sixty-two percent of American voters say elected officials should stay neutral when there is a labor union strike, rather than supporting the union or business.
WHY IT MATTERS – President Biden describes himself as the “most pro-union president in American history” and recently marched with UAW workers during their strike.
- This could tempt conservative-leaning candidates and activists to take the opposite, pro-business position, when most Americans want neutrality.
HOW TO USE THIS DATA – Conservative-leaning candidates and activists can use this language to navigate the tricky politics of union strikes.
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Most are unaware of increased union strike activity.
- 61% approve of labor unions. This includes 46% of Republicans, 78% of Democrats, and 57% of independents.
- Despite the high profile strikes in Hollywood and Detroit, only 34.9% say labor union strikes have increased in recent years. 21% say there are fewer, and 23% say the same amount. 21% don’t know.
- 46% of voters say inflation is the biggest cause of increased union strikes. No other options, including corporate greed, unreasonable union demands, and new technologies registered above 20%.
- A plurality (48%) says Joe Biden describing himself as “the most pro union president in American history” makes no difference in the likelihood of unions to strike. This includes 60% of Baby Boomer+ voters.
Americans are divided 46%-43% in favor of making striking workers eligible for unemployment benefits.
- There are significant partisan, gender, age, and racial divides on this issue.
- Democrats (65%), women (51%), Black (72%), Hispanic (62%), Gen Z (65%), and Millennial (60%) favor making striking workers eligible for unemployment benefits.
- Republicans (31%), men (40%), white (38%), Boomer+ (33%) voters oppose.
Americans want elected officials to stay neutral when there is a labor union strike.
- 62% of voters say elected officials should stay neutral when there is a labor union strike, rather than side with unions or business. 24% of voters say elected officials should side with unions, and 6% say they side with business.
- 68% say it is the job of elected officials to do what’s best for the entire country, not what’s best for labor unions and members or businesses and shareholders.
- 50% of voters would prefer a Republican who stays neutral when there is a strike over a Democrat who sides with the unions. This is a 5-point gain for the GOP candidate from the generic ballot. 3 points of that gain comes from New Majority voters.