Public workers were simply the latest targets in a long-running attack on union power and worker rights, adds Emspak, a Madison professor who went from being a shop-floor union member at a Massachusetts General Electric plant to teaching about labor at the University of Wisconsin School for Workers.

The recent flurry of laws weakening public unions has been made possible in large part because private-sector workers and their unions had already been weakened considerably, going as far back as the 1970s, says Emspak.

"It doesn't matter whether it's the public sector or the private sector," he says. "It's really an assault on the democratic process in the workplace. All of these things result in a lessening of the ability of people in the workplace to speak on a level playing field with their employer."
Busting Wisconsin's unions: Act 10 is part of a larger battle against organized labor - Isthmus | The Daily Page