As Democrats fend off Republicans' attempts to take control of the Senate this year, they'll turn to fundraisers and activists who have been powerful allies in the past. But if they're looking to organized labor for help, even in states where unions have had a lot of clout, they may be disappointed.
"Many labor leaders and union members are still fuming," wrote New York Times journalist Stephen Greenhouse.
He was writing about Act 10, Wisconsin's new law curbing collective bargaining rights for public workers.
More from the New York Times:
Mr. Walker, who is widely viewed as a Republican presidential contender in 2016, has already emboldened other Republican-controlled states to enact measures that weaken unions and cut benefits. Tennessee and Idaho passed laws that cut back bargaining rights for public schoolteachers, while Ohio curbed collective bargaining for all state employees — though that law was repealed in a 2011 referendum. Even longtime union strongholds like Michigan and Indiana have enacted right-to-work laws that undercut private-sector unions by banning any requirements that workers pay union dues or fees. (A state judge's decision that declared the Indiana law unconstitutional is being appealed to the state's Supreme Court...)
"You're seeing more politicians willing to stand up to public-sector unions," said Gary Chaison, a professor of labor relations at Clark University. "Fairly or unfairly, public-sector unions are increasingly being seen as part of the problem."
"The problem isn't that most people hate unions, wrote Rich Yeselson in New Republic. "The problem for unions is that most people don't care about them, or think about them, at all."
How has Wisconsin, which a half-century ago was the first state to give public-sector unions the right to negotiate contracts, changed the labor landscape in America? On The Daily Circuit, we debate whether unions can ever regain the power and influence they once yielded.