SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — More California voters think that organized labor does more harm than good, according to the latest Field Poll that shows a dramatic shift in the state’s attitudes about labor unions.

Forty-five percent of respondents to the California Field Poll said unions do more harm than good, compared to a poll taken two years ago in which only 35 percent held that opinion.

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Field Poll Director Mark DiCamillo said the survey also focused on the labor outlook in the Bay Area.

“Fifty-two percent of Bay Area voters say that public-transit workers should not be allowed to strike; forty-one percent think they should be, and I think that is a direct relationship to recent BART strikes,” he said.

Stanford Law School Professor Emeritus and former National Labor Relations Board Chair Bill Gould told KCBS that he agrees.

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“The unions have really taken a big hit in this process because they have been, I think, perceived by the public to be insensitive to the concerns of the public,” he said.

Only 40 percent of statewide respondents told the Field Poll they think unions do more good than harm.

Perhaps not surprisingly, younger people and individuals who identified as liberal or registered Democrats were the most likely to support the right to strike.

The Field Poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

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