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Card Check Polling: Voters Oppose EFCA, Union Members’ Support of Act Soft

Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research conducted a quantitative study of n=1000 likely voters via an internet survey conducted January 15-22, 2009. Respondents were screened for age and likelihood to vote in a federal election. The sample was stratified to produce a final sample result that was geographically and demographically representative of likely voters nationwide. The results of the survey have a margin of error of ±3.1% in 95 out of 100 cases. Respondents are part of an opt-in panel of adults nationwide. If self-selected participants are different from otherwise identical non-panel participants in their opinions on these issues, then that would limit the generalizability of findings.

The following are the key findings of the survey:

  • Less than two in ten likely voters have heard anything about the Employee Free Choice Act.
    • Respondents were asked if they have “seen, read or heard anything about the Employee Free Choice Act, also known as the Card Check Bill, that is a proposal in Congress to change how labor unions are formed in the United States.” Just 5% say they have seen, read or heard “a lot,” and only 14% indicate they have only been exposed to “just some” information about the Employee Free Choice Act.

    • Union members are no more likely than non-union respondents to have been exposed to information about the Employee Free Choice Act (union = 18% a lot/just some; non-union = 18%)

    • Despite a back-and-forth air-war between coalitions supporting and opposing the bill, the American public remains largely uninformed about the Employee Free Choice Act.

  • Voters who are currently aware of the Employee Free Choice Act oppose it.
    • Of the 19% who have seen, read or heard something about the Employee Free Choice Act, almost half (49%) say they oppose the measure, while just one in three (33%) support it. Almost one in five (18%) say they are undecided.

    • A majority of both Republicans (76%) and Independents (50%) oppose the Act, while a little more than half of Democrats (54%) support it.

    • Surprisingly, opinion among union members is split, as 39% say they support the Act while 42% indicate they oppose it.

  • Voters still oppose the Employee Free Choice Act after being read supporting statements for both sides of the debate.
    • Voters reject the Employee Free Choice Act by a 35% – 24% margin after being read the two following statements:

      • Critics of the Employee Free Choice Act, also known as the Card Check Bill, say it is undemocratic and would take away the worker’s right to a secret ballot election to decide whether to unionize. They say it would allow union organizers to harass and coerce employees to support unionization since the card signing process is not secret, allowing the union, company management and fellow workers to see workers’ vote. They say this legislation would endanger American workers’ freedom to choose and would open some workers up to being forced to become a part of a union and pay mandatory union dues even if they oppose the union.

      • Supporters of the Employee Free Choice Act, also known as the Card Check Bill, say that it would empower the American worker, giving them a fair and direct path to form unions anytime a majority of the employees want to unionize. They say the bill would prevent company management from intimidating, harassing and even firing employees who try to form a union. Supporters say the legislation protects the right to form unions, allowing the middle class to come together to bargain with employers for better wages, benefits and working conditions. They say without this important labor reform, economic opportunity for America’s working families will continue to erode.

    • After hearing both sides, union members are split on the Employee Free Choice Act (32% oppose – 33% support).

    • The statements solidify the opposition of those who have already seen, read or heard something about Employee Free Choice Act, as 70% of those who say they have seen, read or heard “a lot” and 55% of those who have been exposed to “just some” information about the Employee Free Choice Act oppose the legislation after reading arguments for and against the bill.

 

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