The following analysis was completed by DPE based on an October 2016 attitudinal
survey of 1,004 professional and technical employees. Here, the responses of 399 Republican
professionals are separately analyzed and, in part, compared to Democrats and Independents.
Among the 399 respondents: 60% were employed in the private, for-profit sector; 21%
were employed in the public sector; 52% were aged 45 and over; 30% were employed in
engineering, business, finance, computer, and math occupations; 88% were White; and 41%
earned under $75,000 per year.
In a number of ways, Republican and Democrat professionals were similar in their
attitudes about work. However, they sharply diverged in their attitudes toward unions and
questioned whether unions were an effective way to address workplace issues that members of
both parties agreed exist.
First, while a majority of Republicans were opposed to having a union in the workplace,
Republicans were open to receiving more information about the benefits of union representation.
Republican support for a proposal to have a union in the workplace increased six points from the
beginning of the survey to the end of the survey.
Second, Republicans were not universally negative about the impact of having a union at
work. Republicans were not significantly likely to believe that having a union would make
various aspects of their work worse, but many believed having a union would make no difference
in the workplace. In essence, many Republicans do not believe unions can be effective in
bringing about workplace improvements. Demonstrating an ability to be effective may be one
way to win some Republican support.
Third, in identifying preferred union qualities, Republicans were much more likely (by
13 points) to prefer to belong to a union that was “professional.” Republicans ranked
“professional” higher than “puts members first” or a union that is “effective.”
Additional data and analysis is available for DPE affiliated unions and their staff.
For more information, please contact Assistant to the President/Research Director Jennifer Dorning at 202-638-0320 ext. 114 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For media inquiries, please contact Research and Communications Associate Katie Barrows at 202-638-0320 ext. 115 or email@example.com.