More Americans support the United Auto Workers (UAW) over the major auto companies as their strike for higher wages and more benefits nears its fifth week, according to the Associated Press.
The UAW is currently engaging in a partial strike against the Big Three automakers — Ford, General Motors and Stellantis — and have expanded to 44 different plants across the country since its Sept. 15 start, most recently resulting in workers at Ford’s biggest and most profitable plant walking out of the job on Wednesday. Around 36% of Americans sympathize with the striking UAW workers, while only 9% support the automakers in the dispute, with the rest of the 53% of Americans not swayed either way, according to a recent poll from the AP’s NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
Among those polled, 51% said labor unions help American workers and 15% said they hurt workers, while around 1/3 of respondents said unions help the economy as opposed to 22% who said they hurt the economy, according to the AP. Democrats are more sympathetic to the union workers, with 55% saying they support the UAW in the dispute, while only 22% of Republicans said the same.
Only 25% of Americans surveyed approved of President Joe Biden’s handling of the strike, while 34% disapproved, according to the AP. Americans trust Democrats more to handle issues facing workers, garnering 35% support compared to Republicans’ 24% support.
The Big Three auto CEOs talk a big game about staying “competitive.”
— UAW (@UAW) October 11, 2023
The support for auto workers falls short of the 55% of Americans who support the striking Hollywood actors who are a part of SAG-AFTRA that began picketing in July, according to the AP. The Writers Guild of America also striked this year, having started in May and reaching a tentative deal in September, while the International Brotherhood of Teamsters narrowly avoided a strike for its 340,000 delivery drivers who work at the United Parcel Service after reaching a deal just days before their July 31 deadline.
The UAW also launched a strike at Mack Trucks on Monday, with 4,000 union workers walking off the job after 73% of members voted to reject a tentative deal that had previously been agreed upon by the company and union leadership. The rejected deal included a 10% general wage increase in the first year of the five-year contract and a compounded 20% wage increase across the whole term.
The poll collected results from 1,163 adults from Oct. 5 to 9 and was designed to represent the U.S. population, according to the AP. It has a margin of error of ±3.9%.
Will Kessler on October 12, 2023