More evidence of the rightward drift of American public opinion on economic issues apparent in distrust of unions from Pew Research Center:
Favorable views of labor unions have plummeted since 2007, amid growing public skepticism about unions’ purpose and power. Currently, 41% say they have a favorable opinion of labor unions while about as many (42%) express an unfavorable opinion. In January 2007, a clear majority (58%) had a favorable view of unions while just 31% had an unfavorable impression…Labor union favorability among Republicans has dropped from 47% to 29%, while unfavorable opinions have risen from 45% to 58%. Independents show a similar shift (54% favorable in 2007 to 38% now). Democrats remain the most positive about unions – but in smaller numbers: 56% say they have a favorable opinion today, down from 70% in 2007; unfavorable opinions have increased from 19% to 26%.
How much of this is driven by economic concerns? Do voters feel that union activities may pose a threat to the viability of employers? Union-Free America may shed light on this, a description:
Union-Free America: Workers and Antiunion Culture confronts one of the most vexing questions with which labor activists and labor academics struggle: why is there so much opposition to organized labor in the United States? Scholars often point to powerful obstacles from employers or governmental policies, but Lawrence Richards offers a more complete picture of the causes for union decline in the postwar period by examining the attitudes of the workers themselves. Large numbers of American workers in the 1970s and 1980s told pollsters that they would vote against a union if an election were held at their place of employment, and Richards provides a provocative explanation for this hostility: a pervasive strain of antiunionism in American culture that has made many workers distrustful of organized labor. Weighing the arguments of previous historians and sociologists, Richards posits that this underlying antiunion culture in America has been remarkably consistent over the course of half a century. Assessing organizing efforts among blue-collar, white-collar, and pink-collar workers, Richards examines the tactics and countertactics of company and union representatives who sought to either exploit or neutralize workers’ popular negative stereotypes of organized labor’s insidious control over workers’ autonomy.