Just as Barack Obama’s successful 2008 campaign was built on a message of “hope and change” that resonated with dissatisfied Americans, union organizers usually only succeed when there is dissatisfaction in the workplace.
And, if the level of dissatisfaction is what helps union organizers sell their brand of “hope and change,” the Gallup organization’s poll of American job satisfaction won’t be helping unions sell that message anytime soon.
It seems that, according to the annual Gallup poll, Americans’ overall satisfaction with their jobs has improved to pre-Great Recession levels.
Employed Americans’ satisfaction with 13 aspects of their current jobs has largely improved in the last decade. The percentages of workers “completely satisfied” with their health benefits and vacation time have increased the most since 2005, each rising at least 10 percentage points.
While a minority of Americans are “completely satisfied” in their jobs, the overall majority of American workers are, at least, either “completely” or “somewhat” satisfied.
“There’s a lot more to the story of why unions have been on the decline,” states Randy Johnson, senior vice president for Labor, Immigration and Employee Benefits at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“They’re on the decline because there’s a fundamental problem with what the unions are selling,” Johnson says, “whether it’s because employers already fill a lot of needs for employees” or because of federal laws already in place.”
It seems that, excepting for those already in unions and at the lowest end of the economic strata (e.g., fast-food workers), the union message is not resonating–and even there just how far the union message is resonating remains questionable.