Harold Myerson SAYS the backlash against union-busting efforts by Wisconsin Republicans “has produced a shift in public opinion that will help America’s unions, though it will take a lot more than public sympathy to rebuild labor’s power…[and] will help the Democratic Party across the industrial Midwest.”
[A]s Wisconsin’s workers and their allies demonstrated day after day at the Capitol, and as the state’s Democratic senators stayed away to forestall the vote, Americans’ minds were concentrated on a right that certainly hadn’t been in the news much for decades: the right of workers to join together to bargain with management. Within a few days of Walker’s action, three national polls — USA Today/Gallup, Wall Street Journal/NBC, and New York Times/CBS — all showed that Americans opposed stripping public employees of their collective-bargaining rights, by roughly 60 percent to 30 percent margins.
Who knew? What with conservatives’ continual demonization of public-employee unions, the support that Americans show for public employees’ rights has to come as a surprise.