Only the Wealthiest Americans Favor Stripping Workers' Collective Bargaining Rights

A poll conducted by Gallup earlier this week found that Americans opposed stripping public employees' of their right to negotiate with their employers by a margin of 2 to 1. It got a lot of play (as did Fox News reversing the results and reporting that 61 percent of the public favored the GOP's union-busting).   

Today, Greg Sargent dug into the poll's internals, and came up with something worth noting:

It turns out that the only income group that favors Governor Scott Walker's proposal to roll back public employee bargaining rights are those who make over $90,000.

As you know, Gallup released a poll earlier this week finding that 61 percent of Americans oppose Walker's plan, versus only 33 percent who are in favor. It turns out Gallup has crosstabs which give us an income breakdown of that finding, which the firm sent my way:

* Among those who make less than $24,000 annually, 74 percent oppose the proposal, versus only 14 percent who favor it.

* Among those who make $24,000 to $59,000, 63 percent oppose the proposal, versus only 33 percent who favor it.

* Among those who make $60,000 to $89,000, 53 percent oppose the proposal, versus only 41 percent who favor it.

* Among those who make $90,000 and up, 50 percent favor the proposal, versus 47 percent who oppose it.

This makes perfect sense for several reasons. Higher income workers have greater job security, better retirement and health benefits and their wages have been rising while most Americans' have not. In other words, they already have what a union secures for working people beneath them on the food chain. 

Also, within that group are a good number of investors and, as I wrote yesterday, only through collective bargaining can workers end up with a free market wage. Without it, they end up being paid below what the market would bear and the difference gets pocketed by investors. As such, union-busting is a weapon of class warfare from above.

Having said that, the top income bracket in Gallup's cross-tabs only broke for the proposal 50-47.



AlterNet / By Joshua Holland

Posted at February 25, 2011, 12:10pm

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