Americans tend to support 'right-to-work' laws that protect people from being required to pay union dues
Wisconsin's labor movement has suffered another blow after Governor Scott Walker signed into law a bill making Wisconsin the newest 'right-to-work' state. Federal law allows unions to sign agreements with employers requiring that all workers who enjoy the benefits of union protection and union contracts also join the union or at least financially contribute to the union's non-political activities. In right-to-work states, however, these agreements are illegal and all workers are free to decide whether or not they want to join a union, even if the union negotiates on their behalf. Wisconsin is the 25th state to pass right-to-work laws, which are particularly popular in the south and plains states.
YouGov's latest research shows that, even when presented with the case against right-to-work laws Americans tend to disagree with the law's opponents. 45% of Americans disagree that when workers enjoy the benefits of union membership that they should have to pay union dues, while only 25% think that workers who are protected by unions should have to pay union dues. Democrats tend to agree (42%) rather than disagree (26%) with the case against right-to-work laws, but half of independents (50%) and most Republicans (61%) disagree with opponents of the law.
When Americans are presented with the case made by supporters of the law, that no-one should ever be required to join a private organization against their will, the vast majority of Americans agree (64%) rather than disagree (15%) with them. Even most Democrats (56%) think that no American should be required to join a union against their will, along with 64% of independents and 77% of Republicans.
Overall, after being presented with both the case for and against right-to-work laws a majority of Americans (57%) say that they would vote in favor of right-to-work laws while only 15% would oppose it. Just under half of Democrats (48%) say that they would vote for right-to-work laws, while 22% would vote against them.