Interestingly, the Huffington Post reports the results of a survey showing that currently Americans are the most optimistic about unions since 2006.
Source: Americans Increasingly Believe Labor Unions Benefit The Economy
I was surprised at this headline. As a one-nation conservative, it seemed counter-intuitive. But I reflected on the results and interpreted them as follows.
This is part of the polarization of politics towards the extremes, the far-left and the far-right. Since the financial crash of 2008, many working class and middle class Americans have struggled economically with huge challenges of rising debt and healthcare costs. By comparison, big business has seen huge growth in profits, often escaping from taxes, especially overseas. Traditional jobs have been off-shored to low-cost countries, replaced by technology or gone to immigrants with higher skills. Many Americans have been forced into taking multiple jobs or accepting zero hours contracts. It’s significant that in the heavily unionized education sector, the US was recently reported at bottom of the OECD league in numeracy.
Personally, I’m of the opinion that the results are a one-off and there is no sustainable move to unionization.
Nevertheless, the results will be of interest to other advanced counties where there are parallels to the US work experience.