Battles in Wisconsin and Ohio over collective bargaining rights for state and local government workers sharply boosted overall labour enthusiasm and turnout in those two states this year, a new union analysis says.
That in turn helped Democratic President Barack Obama win both swing states.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) analysis adds that its "findings and results are a warning to governors and mayors across the country who would consider anti-union attacks similar to those pursued by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Ohio Governor John Kasich."
The report is notable because AFSCME is not only the largest union in the US but also one of the most politically savvy.
Current president Lee Saunders also chairs the federation's political committee.
And AFSCME members formed many of the 400,000 Ohio state and local workers whom the Republican Kasich and his legislature stripped of collective bargaining and other rights, as well as of the 300,000 Wisconsin workers who suffered the same fate at the hands of radical right Republican Walker.
Unions struck back against Ohio's law by getting voters to overturn it in a 2011 referendum by 61-39 per cent.
Wisconsin state and federal judges have thrown out other anti-worker sections of Walker's law, but not denial of collective bargaining.
A union-led recall election against Walker earlier in 2012 fell 7 per cent short of ousting him.
AFSCME called the November 2012 election another battle in the fight between Main Street and Wall Street nationwide.
"It didn't matter if the candidates were Democratic or Republican.
"It wasn't about left versus right. It was about right versus wrong," the report concluded.
The election was "a declaration by the American people that they are standing up for working families, children, seniors and the most vulnerable of our country.
"Despite nefarious attacks against the very right to vote, Americans chose Medicare, not millionaires."
Because of course it was the millionaires - the right-wing and corporate interests - who backed and bankrolled Walker, Kasich and Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.
Voters "said that it was wrong for politicians to try stripping Americans of their rights, their jobs and their promised benefits.
"That it was wrong to make working families sacrifice while asking nothing of the wealthiest.
"This election determined whether the values of Main Street were more important than the greed of Wall Street. Main Street won."
Union-bashers take note.
If you appreciated this article then please consider donating to the Morning Star's Fighting Fund to ensure we can keep developing your paper.