Support for unions is rising. Sixty-four percent of Americans approve of unions, nearly the highest level in 50 years. An MIT study found that 50% of non-union, non-managerial workers say they would vote to join a union. One reason for this trend is that many unions have worked to build public support, as when striking L.A. teachers demanded not just pay raises, but smaller class sizes and more nurses, librarians and school counselors.
Another promising sign is the changing generational support for labor. Americans age 18 to 34 are the age group most enthusiastic about unions. They were badly scarred by the Great Recession, they’ve grown up in an era of huge income inequality, and many have been inspired by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Indeed, many young Americans have been flocking into unions, including graduate students, cannabis workers, digital journalists, museum workers and workers at nonprofits.