Union blues

The approval rating of one of the biggest supporters of Obama's attempt to impose a socialist system on America has plummeted. Gallup has been polling on the public's attitude to Labor Unions since the 1930s. They report public support of unions is at an all time low. 

More broadly, fewer than half of Americans -- 48%, an all-time low -- approve of labor unions, down from 59% a year ago.

This is seven percentage points below the former low of 55%, reached in both 1979 and 1981. In addition, such a sharp decline has also only been seen once before, in the late 1950s.   With the administration relying on organized labor to come out strong for his agenda, these are grim numbers. 

chart

Past declines in approval have had political implications for unions.  The sharp decline in the late 1950s was the results disclosures of corrupt practices in the Teamsters, Longshoreman and Mineworkers' unions.  These led to the passage of the Landrum-Griffin Act in 1959 regulating union elections and financial disclosure.  Throughout the 1970s there had been both labor strife and growing reports of union corruption, culminating in the 1979 murder of United Mineworker dissident Joseph ("Jock") Yablonski. The 1981 low related to the illegal strike by federal air traffic controllers that resulted in Ronald Reagan dismissing all 13,000 controllers. Public support for Reagan's action muzzled labor union activism for many years.

One suspects the current tumble in public approval of unions reflects both the highly unpopular government takeover of the highly unionized General Motors and and the intransigence of many public employee unions about wages and particularly benefits as states, counties and municipalities attempt to balance their budgets. 

The timing couldn't be worse for the White House.  I doubt they will be listening to this tune by Blondie on their ipods at Camp David this holiday weekend.

Oh oh, oh oh, what are we going to do?
Union, union, union city blues
Oh oh, oh oh, what are we going to do?
Union, union, union city blues
Oh oh, oh oh, what are we going to do?
Union, union, union city blues

The approval rating of one of the biggest supporters of Obama's attempt to impose a socialist system on America has plummeted. Gallup has been polling on the public's attitude to Labor Unions since the 1930s. They report public support of unions is at an all time low. 

More broadly, fewer than half of Americans -- 48%, an all-time low -- approve of labor unions, down from 59% a year ago.

This is seven percentage points below the former low of 55%, reached in both 1979 and 1981. In addition, such a sharp decline has also only been seen once before, in the late 1950s.   With the administration relying on organized labor to come out strong for his agenda, these are grim numbers. 

chart

Past declines in approval have had political implications for unions.  The sharp decline in the late 1950s was the results disclosures of corrupt practices in the Teamsters, Longshoreman and Mineworkers' unions.  These led to the passage of the Landrum-Griffin Act in 1959 regulating union elections and financial disclosure.  Throughout the 1970s there had been both labor strife and growing reports of union corruption, culminating in the 1979 murder of United Mineworker dissident Joseph ("Jock") Yablonski. The 1981 low related to the illegal strike by federal air traffic controllers that resulted in Ronald Reagan dismissing all 13,000 controllers. Public support for Reagan's action muzzled labor union activism for many years.

One suspects the current tumble in public approval of unions reflects both the highly unpopular government takeover of the highly unionized General Motors and and the intransigence of many public employee unions about wages and particularly benefits as states, counties and municipalities attempt to balance their budgets. 

The timing couldn't be worse for the White House.  I doubt they will be listening to this tune by Blondie on their ipods at Camp David this holiday weekend.

Oh oh, oh oh, what are we going to do?
Union, union, union city blues
Oh oh, oh oh, what are we going to do?
Union, union, union city blues
Oh oh, oh oh, what are we going to do?
Union, union, union city blues