Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009 | 2:45 p.m.
WASHINGTON -- New polling out today shows little support in Nevada for key provisions of the Employee Free Choice Act, the labor-led legislation that would make it easier for workers to form unions -- an issue that may return to the congressional agenda in the new year.
The poll showed 57 percent of respondents oppose changing the way unions are organized and 64 percent oppose allowing mandatory arbitration to settle organizational disputes between workers and managers, as is proposed under the bill.
The poll also showed more voters would be less likely to support political candidates who support such changes.
The polling was conducted for the Workforce Fairness Institute, an organization that has been vigorously fighting the Employee Free Choice Act all year.
The legislation is also known as “card check” – because it would allow workers to simply sign a card if they want to join a union. It had been the top priority of labor leaders this year.
But the bill stalled as Congress took on other priorities and it seemed unclear if it would have 60 votes needed for passage in the Senate.
Unions prefer the card check method as an alternative to secret ballots because they say managers often drag out elections and intimidate workers. But businesses say the ballots should be used in every case.
Card check is used in most of the casinos on the Las Vegas Strip.
Polling of 500 registered voters by Public Opinion Strategies for the Workforce Fairness Institute was conducted Dec. 12-15 in Nevada.
Respondents were split among self-described Democrats, Republicans and Independents, though 53 percent of respondents described themselves as conservative on issues.
The poll also includes information on favorability ratings for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Republican Sen. John Ensign and Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons. But there's not much new there that cannot be summed up in a few words: High unfavorable ratings for all.
Health care reform is also polled, with 50 percent saying they believe the health care reform before Congress is a "bad idea" (and 20 percent having "no opinion").
Check out the full poll here.