Class warfare, round 2: Wisconsin unions get off the mat to force recall of the governor, senators and others

He was a rampaging Republican governor who tore up contracts to crush Wisconsin’s public sector unions, triggering a massive occupation of the state legislature. His apparent victory helped drive the Tea Party movement into high gear just two years ago.

Corporate executives across North America cheered, hoping for similar battles in their own local markets.

But now, in a dramatic example of how nothing in US politics stays the same, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker is facing recall. The state’s unions, given up for dead, needed 540,000 signatures, but they gathered more than one million, weighing 1.5 tonnes, in a state with only three million voters.

It’s a plot Gordon Campbell would recognize, although he dodged recall. Not Walker, who must now face a mid-term vote along with four senators and the lieutenant governor. A state-wide referendum in Ohio defeated an anti-union initiative there, and Indiana is in turmoil over similar legislation.

Crushing the labour movement is always easier said than done.