Labor Holds Itself Hostage
The election to recall the Republican governor, sparked by Walker's successful 2011 effort to end collective bargaining for public employees, has drawn participation from many different groups, including the tea party. But unions, which have long been fighting stories of their demise, have much of what's left of their reputation as powerful political organizers riding on the race.
Union membership in 2011 fell to a record low for the second straight year, according to the Department of Labor, but that's not the only avenue in which unions have been struggling.
Bill Schneider, a a senior fellow and resident scholar at centrist think tank Third Way, told Yahoo News that labor has lately experienced "tougher times winning" electoral races in which they've inserted themselves. This includes labor's unsuccessful attempt to take down Sen. Blanche Lincoln in the 2010 Arkansas Democratic primary.