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Americans still support unions — even if they don’t belong to one

Americans Still Support Unions — Even If They Don’t Belong To One

Organized labor has continued to lose members, but still retains the support of a majority of Americans, according to a Gallup poll released Thursday. Sixty-two percent of Americans approve of unions, with a majority backing them regardless of gender, education, age or place of residence, the survey shows.

Where opinions divide, not surprisingly, is along party lines: 80 percent of Democrats voice support for collective bargaining rights, versus only 45 percent of Republicans, found the nationwide survey of roughly 1,000 adults, conducted earlier in August.

Support for unions among both Democrats and Republicans fell sharply in 2009 in the aftermath of the recession. But sentiment toward labor has improved as the economy recovered, Gallup noted.

Although most Americans approve of unions, they also remain wary of organized labor, the survey shows: Well under half of respondents, at 39 percent, want unions to exert greater influence in the U.S., while 29 percent think they should have less sway.

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