Poll shows widespread distrust of corporations September 2002
Peter Hart Research Associates was hired recently by the AFL-CIO to do an annual Labor Day poll of American opinions regarding corporations, the economy, and unions. Here are the results:
Hart reports that the survey of 900 adults (margin of error: 3.5 percent) found significant swings in opinions regarding the economy, corporate America and unions.
Among the findings, according to Hart:
"Only 38 percent say they are satisfied with the economy today, compared to 63 percent who reported being satisfied last year. As recently as last summer, workers felt more secure in their jobs than they had a couple of years earlier. That trend reversed with 44 percent saying they feel less secure, and only 34 percent saying they feel more secure."
"Nearly 70 percent of Americans think the rising costs of health care and prescription drugs is a serious problem."
"Corporate scandals have left Americans angry at CEOs and skeptical about corporate America. As late as last year, Americans viewed large corporations more positively than negatively (42 percent positive, 25 percent negative.) Today that trend has reversed with people expressing more negative views (39 percent) than positive (30 percent.) This is the highest negative rating for corporations recorded over nine years of Hart surveys for the AFL-CIO. A whopping 58 percent have a negative view of CEOs, and the disaffection is bipartisan."
"People don't trust their employers to treat them fairly, or to think about their security. Fully two-thirds say they trust employers just some or not much at all. A majority feel that corporations pursue profits at the expense of loyalty to employees, and 57 percent say that employers fall short when it comes to providing permanent jobs that offer benefits and job security--up from 46 percent in 1999."
"For the first time since 1984 (when the AFL-CIO first asked) half of workers who don't already have a union say they would join a union tomorrow if given the chance. This is a full eight percentage points higher than in 2001 when 42 percent of workers without unions said they would join one."
"In addition, 74 percent of Americans say that employees in the new Homeland Security department should have the same job protections and rights to union representation as other federal employees."