National Employee Freedom Week Informs Employees about their Rights to Leave their Union
RALEIGH —Today, the Civitas Institute is highlighting the results of a new survey showing that 57.2 percent of NC union workers would prefer to represent themselves and 30 percent of union members nationwide would opt out of union membership if they knew they could keep their job and not face any penalty.
The survey is part of National Employee Freedom Week (NEFW), an annual national campaign that informs union members about their workplace rights, specifically their right to leave their union. NEFW runs Sunday, Aug. 14 through Saturday, Aug. 20 and is supported by more than 100 organizations in 35 states.
View the grassroots coalition that makes up NEFW here.
The Google Consumer Survey poll surveyed 300 union members nationwide and found that 28.7 percent of respondents answered “Yes” to the question, “If it were possible to opt out of membership in a labor union without losing your job or any other penalty, would you do it?” This finding, applied to the 14.8 million union members nationwide, suggests that over 4 million union members are interested in opting out of their union.
In response to the charge by labor leaders that opting out of membership makes an employee a “free rider,” the NEFW coalition conducted additional state-specific surveys to test support for a new policy known as “Worker’s Choice.”
- Nationally, more than 2 in 3 union members answered “Yes” to the question, “If employees opt out of union membership and stop paying dues or fees to the union, should they instead represent themselves in negotiations with their employer?”
- In North Carolina, 57.2 percent of union members responded “Yes” when asked the same question, signaling strong support for employees negotiating their own contracts based on merit.
In addition to educating union members about their rights, NEFW also helps them exercise these rights. The NEFW website features an interactive map that includes information on opt-out windows, sample opt-out letters, and information about union alternatives.
The surveys were conducted by Google Consumer Surveys, between July 13 and Aug. 2, 2016. They each surveyed roughly 300 people and have a margin of error of approximately 6 percent.