GALLUP POLL POINTS TO EFCA SUPPORT…. In the coming months, as the debate over the Employee Free Choice Act begins in earnest, we can expect to see an advertising onslaught, with dire warnings about what might happen if working people formed unions.
But before the barrage begins, Democrats and their labor allies start off the debate with public opinion on their side.
A new Gallup Poll finds just over half of Americans, 53%, favoring a new law that would make it easier for labor unions to organize workers; 39% oppose it. This is a key issue at stake with the Employee Free Choice Act now being considered in Congress.
The poll reveals sharply differing reactions to the issue within the general public according to political orientation. Most Democrats (70%) say they would favor a law that facilitates union organizing, while a majority of Republicans (60%) say they would oppose it. Independents lean in favor of such a law, 52% vs. 41%.
Now, Gallup didn’t ask respondents for their opinions on the “Employee Free Choice Act” specifically — or mention the phrase, “card check” — since few Americans would recognize the terms. Instead, the poll question was instead pretty straightforward: “Generally speaking, would you favor or oppose a new law that would make it easier for labor unions to organize workers?” A 53% majority answered in the affirmative, while 55% expressed support for Congress passing legislation to this effect. Gallup noted that the results reflect a trend that “Americans are fundamentally sympathetic to labor unions.”
What’s more, while there was clearly a partisan gap in the results — a majority of Democrats and independents approved, Republicans did not — Sam Stein noted, “[M]ore than one out of every three Republicans favor laws that would ease unionization, suggesting there is room for labor officials to win over GOP converts.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke at the International Association of Fire Fighters Conference yesterday and predicted EFCA success this year. “President Obama has said he supports the legislation, so the Senate will pass it with a good, strong bipartisan vote. It will then come to the House, pass again, and then we will send it on to President Barack Obama so that he can sign it into law this year,” Pelosi said
That sounds optimistic, but the results from Gallup certainly won’t hurt.