49% Blame Unions for Strike

Scott Lucas | October 22, 2013 | Story

As BART management and unions continue to meet tonight in an effort to resolve a strike that has now lasted since Friday, the results of our new (admittedly totally unscientific) poll show that BART labor unions aren't so popular right now.

We wanted to take the temperature of the Bay Area's opinion of the shutdown, so we put out the call on our website, on Twitter, and on Facebook. Since responses didn't come from randomly selected people, we wouldn't lean too heavily on these results at your next Nate Silver Fan Club Meeting. But, hey, at least it's something to read while you wait for news to trickle out about what is going to happen in the negotiations tonight.

According to our results, 49.4% of respondents blamed the unions for the current train shutdown, while only 26.4% blamed management. 56.9% of the respondents thought that BART workers were paid too much, and 24.7% reporting that their commutes had increased an hour or more during the strike. Only 8.6% thought that unions were winning the public relations battle. Taken in full (and with that nice big grain of salt), the results indicate that the BART employee unions have a great deal of ground to cover with the public.

Full results follow:

1. Who is more to blame for the current BART strike?
The unions 49.4%
BART Management 26.4%
Both about the same 24.1%

2. Do you support the position of the unions?
Yes 22.4%
No 39.7%
I support some of the unions' positions 28.0%
I don't know 9.8%

3. Do you think BART workers are paid too much?
Yes 56.9%
No 34.5%
I don't know 8.6%

4. Who has done a better job of explaining their position to the public?
Management 52.9%
Both about the same 38.5%
The unions 8.6%

5. What is your primary mode of transportation?
BART 48.2%
Drive 18.4%
Bicycle 7.5%
Walk 7.5%
All Other 18.4%

6. How much longer has your commute been during the strike?
Unchanged or quicker 30.5%
0-15 minutes more 7.5%
15-30 minutes more 15.5%
30-45 minutes more 12.1%
45-60 minutes more 9.8%
One hour or more 24.7%

7. Are you a union member yourself?
Yes 12.1%*
No 87.9%

Our poll was conducted over the course of this afternoon, using Google Forms, and had a total response of 174 participants.

*(According to the BLS, 17.2 of all workers in California belong to a union.)

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