Public to Scott Walker: Don’t Take Away Collective Bargaining Rights!

I reported last week on the public’s opposition to taking away collective bargaining rights for state workers. This week the signals from the public are even clearer. Poll after poll rolled in with the same basic finding—taking away collective bargaining rights is unacceptable to the public.

Consider these results from the new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. Respondents were asked whether it was acceptable to eliminate public employees’ right to collectively bargain over health care, pensions, and other benefits as a way of dealing with state budget deficits. The public said no by almost 2:1 (62-33).

The poll also asked whether state workers who belong to a union should have the same right to collectively bargain over benefits as workers in private companies who belong to a union. The response was an ever more overwhelming 77-19 in favor of unionized state workers’ right to collectively bargain over benefits.

What part of “don’t take away state workers’ collective bargaining rights” does Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker not understand? Or does he simply not care what the public thinks? The latter seems a distinct possibility given conservatives’ track record on this score.

Ruy Teixeira is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. To learn more about his public opinion analysis go to the Media and Progressive Values page and the Progressive Studies program page of our website.