Bull Bear Report Mar 09 2011

Most Would Cross Picket Lines For the Right Job

By kyle stock

Many U.S. citizens wouldn't hesitate to cross picket lines and swipe a union job despite being split in their opinions of protesting union workers in Wisconsin.

When asked if they would cross a picket line for a "dream" job, 68% of 392 respondents said "yes" in the FINS.com online question forum Sign or Decline.

Jim Balassone, executive-in-residence at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, wasn't surprised by the results.

"Unions did not fall from heaven and they weren't a creation of the state; they were necessary for workers to have bargaining power," he said. "Over time, that need has decreased."

Roughly 12% of U.S. workers are in a union, according to the federal Labor Department. In the early 1980s, that share was much higher, about 20%. Balassone noted that many Americans probably don't know many unionized workers anymore.

Discussion of organized labor has intensified in recent weeks as Wisconsin lawmakers weigh plans to hamstring the bargaining rights of unionized state workers. The issue has brought the Wisconsin legislature to a halt.

There are some signs that the public at-large is siding with the union workers. In a nationwide poll by Pew Research Center, 42% of respondents said they supported the organized labor movement, with 31% in favor of the opposition; the remainder were either unsure or didn't have a preference.

At 24.2%, New York has the greatest share of unionized workers out of any U.S. state.

Finance workers, however, aren't likely to confront picket lines anytime soon. Only about 2% of the industry's workforce is unionized, according to federal data.



What Would You Do?

Answer the question and see how you match up with the rest of the FINS community.

You've just been offered your dream job, but...you have to cross a picket line.

Sign ...or... Decline

Write to Kyle Stock

Sign or Decline is a series of questions on FINS.com that ask what you would do for your dream job. Since launch, late last year, over 100,000 answers have been received and compiled in our database. Participate in Sign or Decline here.



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