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In Wisconsin, union leaders hold out hope for November

David Gura Jun 6, 2012

David Brancaccio: In Wisconsin, Republican Scott Walker has won the recall election and will stay on as Governor. That win says plenty about politics in Wisconsin and about new challenges for the labor movement across the country.

Marketplace’s David Gura reports.

David Gura: Dennis Van Roekel, the head of the National Education Association, says he and other union leaders are disappointed in yesterday’s vote. But Van Roekel says they are also optimistic.

Dennis Van Roekel: One of the things that this has done is it has engaged and invigorated and energized labor all across this country.

The recall vote attracted national attention because it involved some hot-button issues — deficits and collective bargaining — and that led to some big donations — tens of millions of dollars.  And a lot of that money came from outside the Badger State.

UC Berkeley Professor Harley Shaiken specializes in labor issues:

Harley Shaiken: Unions poured considerable resources into this recall fight, but they were no match on the dollar front with the kind of money Governor Walker was able to tap into.

But what they did have was a solid ground game — they knocked on doors, made phone calls, and relied on smaller donations, and labor leaders say they’re hopeful that strategy will win the day in November.

In Washington, I’m David Gura for Marketplace.



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