Underpaid Workers Overwhelmingly Support a $15 Minimum Wage and Unions, Survey Finds
A first-ever national poll of workers who are paid less than $15 per hour shows 72 percent approve of labor unions, and 75 percent support $15 and a union, the goals of the Fight for $15 movement.
The poll, conducted in August and September using leading survey platforms Harris Interactive and YouGov, included 2,284 respondents who are U.S. citizens, work at least 10 hours per week, and are paid less than $15 per hour or $31,000 a year in salary. Results from the survey show that a major shift is underway in the views of lower-wage workers across the country—a shift attributable to the growing momentum of the Fight for $15.
Forty-two percent of America’s workers are paid less than $15 per hour, according to a recent study by the National Employment Law Project.
Key findings from the poll include the following:
- 72 percent approve of labor unions;
- 75 percent support $15 and a union;
- 69 percent say it should be easier for workers like themselves to form and join a union;
- 72 percent believe that unions can make a real difference in their ability to obtain raises;
- 69 percent support raising the minimum wage to $15;
- 66 percent say they would have a better chance of making $15 an hour if they could join a union; and
- Support for $15 and a union is particularly strong in the South at 77 percent.
Among the respondents who were not registered to vote, 69 percent said they would be more likely to register if there were a presidential candidate who supports raising the minimum wage to $15 and making it easier to join a union. And among registered voters, 65 percent said they would be more likely to vote if there were such a presidential candidate.
The poll also found that fully half of the respondents had heard of the Fight for $15 movement. The poll comes on the heels of other recent polls of the broader public that show strong support for higher minimum wages, including 50 percent or higher for a $15 minimum wage in seven key swing states in the 2016 elections and even greater support in New York State.