Membership in Wisconsin public worker unions takes hit after Walker's collective bargaining law

Other public employee unions are faring only marginally better. Most have lost between 30% and 60% of their members in the past two years.

Reached earlier this month, Walker said he was not surprised by the numbers.

“We were trying to empower workers and give them a choice,” the first-term Republican governor said. “If workers saw value out of their union, then they have every right to stay put. But if they didn’t, they could make that choice.”

Walker rejected any suggestion that he had effectively handicapped the once-powerful labor groups with his legislation.

“People said at the time, ‘Oh, you’re trying to get rid of the unions,'” Walker recalled. “I said, ‘No, I’m trying to have them show value.’ Workers are making their value assumptions.”