STLtoday story first posted online was wrong; data was misinterpreted
For the 6th year in a row, Missourians are strongly opposed to the phony right-to-work law, the most recent poll conducted by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch shows.
In a major faux pas, a story that appeared online on the Post-Dispatch’s website STLtoday.com on March 11 incorrectly reported that their state-wide poll showed that 56 percent were in favor of the RTW proposal when in fact, just the opposite was true: 56 percent are OPPOSED to the law.
Thanks to the alertness of Pro-Union St. Louis contributor Mary Beth, a story about the Trump/Hillary visits to St. Louis was posted on the Pro-Union St. Louis Facebook page. It caught the attention of Labor Tribune Publisher Ed Finkelstein who, shocked, immediately went to the full poll results to discover that the story was wrong.
Immediately notifying the Post-Dispatch writer of the error, within minutes the writer checked the poll results and told Finkelstein that their researcher had indeed misinterpreted the data, that yes, 56 percent were OPPOSED, not in favor as first reported.
The Post-Dispatch immediately changed the online story to reflect the poll’s actual results. An asterisk accompanied the story noting the first edition’s error. The Post-Dispatch’s print edition on March 12 reflected the correct interpretation.
The Post-Dispatch’s first online story read: “A majority – 56 percent – favors making it illegal for companies to make paid participation in a labor union a condition of employment.”
After realizing their error, the story was changed with an explanation: “A majority – 56 percent – oppose making it illegal for companies to make paid participation in a labor union a condition of employment. * An earlier version of this posting incorrectly stated that 56 percent of respondents supported making it illegal for companies to make paid participation in a labor union a condition of employment. In fact, the poll shows that 56 percent oppose it.”
Kudos to the Post-Dispatch for making the immediate change, Finkelstein said, “but hopefully it’s a abject lesson that they will insure their research staff takes the time to correctly interpret their data on such hot topics as right-to-work.”
The telephone poll of 1,480 Missourians (with 483 responding) was conducted by Fort Hays State University/Institute of Public Affairs March 3 – 10; the poll’s confidence level was 95 percent and its error rate was 4.6 percent. The polls overall purpose was to measure residents intentions to participate in the presidential primary to include preferences on “some controversial issues in Missouri.”
6 YEARS OF POLLING HISTORY
This recent poll again confirms that Missourians are AGAINST RTW:
- Dec. 2010 – Business Journal: NO-77%; yes-23%
- Jan. 2011 – Springfield News Leader Ozark poll: NO-70%; yes-30%
- Jan. 2012 – Springfield News Leader: NO-70.49%; yes-29.51% with 3,347 voting.
- Dec. 2012 – Southeast Missourian poll: NO-72.7%; yes-27.3%
- Jan. 2013 – Southeast Missourian: NO-73%; yes-27%
- Sept. 2013 – St. Louis Business Journal: NO-78%; yes-22%
- Feb. 2013 – Missouri Times: NO-68%; yes-32%
- Jan. 2014 – Springfield News Leader: NO -88%; yes-10%
- Feb. 2015 – St. Louis Business Journal: NO-82%; yes-18%
- Feb. 2015 – Kansas City Business Journal: NO-68%; yes-32%
Missourians have spoken over and over again. Yet, the majority of the Republican-controlled legislature refuses to listen. Thankfully there are Republicans who vote for their constituents, not simply dogmatic ideology.
IMPACT ON ALL WORKERS
The law’s impact would be on ALL Missouri workers; in fact it would impact non-union workers more, since only 11 percent of Missouri’s workforce is unionized.
The results of the anti-worker law on workers is clear: less in their paycheck, less in terms of health care, pensions and other benefits, more in terms of profits for millionaires and Big Businesses.
RTW does only one thing well: it facilities a race to the bottom!
Unfortunately, one thing the polls do show: the continuing anti-union campaign of outright lies and distortions about what the right-to-work law means is having an impact.
However, the old saying “the truth will win out” still holds true. Substantial majorities of Missourians understand the negative impact the law will have on everyone.