Nation's unions lost big in the Wisconsin showdown

Published On: Jun 06 2012 01:51:32 PM CDT   Updated On: Jun 06 2012 01:51:25 PM CDT

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's victory put labor unions on the losing end of the biggest showdown on workers' rights in recent U.S. history.

Instead of ousting the Republican who cut bargaining rights for public employees, the recall turned Walker into a hero for conservatives - and an example of a politician who took on Big Labor and won.

The outcome could encourage GOP lawmakers in states like Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and New Hampshire, to push harder to pass right-to-work legislation or other measures that restrict automatic union dues collection.

Still, labor leaders insist the fight was worth it. They say the massive protests against Walker and the polarization of voters in the state will make other governors and legislators think twice before going after unions.