Poll shows majority back rights of public unions

Public unions in a number of states are under fire from governors weighing the option of slashing their collective bargaining rights. However, a new poll from The New York Times and CBS News shows that the majority of Americans back the unions rather than the governors. According to the survey, 60 percent of respondents "strongly oppose" or "oppose" stripping collective bargaining rights.

Meanwhile, 33 percent said they favor the measures being considered by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Ohio Governor John and Kasich and others. Seven percent said they were unsure. Additionally, 56 percent said they "somewhat" or "strongly" oppose reducing pay or employee benefits of public employees, while 37 percent backed such decisions.

"I just feel they do a job that needs to be done, and in our country today if you work hard, then you should be able to have a home, be able to save for retirement and you should be able to send your kids to college," Phil Merritt, a retired property manager from Tennessee, told The New York Times.

When it comes to union compensation, 36 percent of respondents said public employees were paid "about right", while 25 percent said they were paid too low. However, 26 percent said public employee salaries were too high.  

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