Unions versus state and local governments
Americans tilt toward public employee unions over state and local governments, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center.
Asked their "first reaction" in disagreements between labor unions representing government workers and the governments themselves, 44 percent of those polled say their sympathies lie with the unions; 38 percent side with the governments.
In the poll, Democrats take the unions' side in labor disputes by a large, 26-point margin (56 to 30 percent), while Republicans side with governments by 15 (50 to 35 percent). Independents are split toward the union side, 43 to 37 percent.
Republicans have a clearer take when it comes to unions in the private sector: Republicans side with businesses over private-sector labor unions by better than 2 to 1 (62 to 25 percent).
The Pew survey points to sliding favorability numbers for both unions and businesses, with positive views of unions slipping across the political spectrum.
Most Americans - 53 percent - see labor unions as good for workers, but more see them as bad than good for the competitiveness of U.S. companies.
In a January Washington Post poll, barely over a third of Americans said the country is well-positioned to compete in the global economy.
| February 17, 2011; 2:37 PM ET
Tags: Obama, Pew Research Center, government, poll, unions
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