Happy Labor Day!

In a new poll, Gallup finds public support for organized labor at its lowest level since it began taking the survey.

Gallup finds organized labor taking a significant image hit in the past year. While 66% of Americans continue to believe unions are beneficial to their own members, a slight majority now say unions hurt the nation’s economy. More broadly, fewer than half of Americans — 48%, an all-time low — approve of labor unions, down from 59% a year ago.


These results are from the 2009 installment of Gallup’s annual Work and Education survey, conducted Aug. 6-9. The 48% of Americans now approving of unions represents the first sub-50% approval since Gallup first asked the question in the 1930s. The previous low was 55%, found in both 1979 and 1981.

Those numbers could go even lower, if much of the public learns more about the ways in which the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress are bending over backwards to please that loyal consituency, as F. Vincent Vernuccio and I argue in The American Spectator today. Particularly, the unions are getting considerable help from the administration and from their allies in Congress in trying to keep their grossly underfunded union pension funds from going bust, as Irwin Stelzer also notes in his Washington Examiner column today.

For more on union pension funds, see here and here.