Support the news

Public Sector Unions Losing Battle For American People19:23
Download

Play
Firefigher Brian Ritter of Ocean Shores, Wash., holds a pro-union sign during a rally supporting Wisconsin public sector unions on the Capitol campus in Olympia, Wash. (AP)
Firefigher Brian Ritter of Ocean Shores, Wash., holds a pro-union sign during a rally supporting Wisconsin public sector unions on the Capitol campus in Olympia, Wash. (AP)

In the midst of a new round of labor battles, a New York Times/CBS News poll offers some encouraging news for unions and some sobering challenges.

While Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker wants to end collective bargaining — provoking a national debate about public sector unions — the new poll finds a majority of Americans oppose cutting pay and benefits of public workers to reduce state budget deficits.

But unions are hardly popular. According to the same polls, only one third of those surveyed have a favorable view of unions.

That leads to the questions: Why are unions apparently losing the P.R. campaign? While most Americans support basic worker rights — and basic benefits like fair pay, weekends, sick leave, all of which unions have fought for — why do so many see unions as the problem?

Guests:

This segment aired on March 1, 2011.

+Join the discussion
TwitterfacebookEmail

Support the news