“$75 million”

— The estimated cost to unions and their allies of defeating a California ballot measure that would have made it illegal for unions and corporations to use money deducted from an employee’s paycheck for political purposes.

It took the death of Twinkie the Kid to get many Americans to pay attention to the increasingly bitter battle by unions to reverse decades of decline.

But as holiday shoppers hit the stores this week, millions more will be reminded of the conflict as unions and their allies protest outside Wal-Mart stores across the country.

This is not a strike, this is an effort to disrupt business at non-union stores during the busiest shopping time of the year. These flash mobs and protesters are aiming to make Black Friday an even more unhappy occasion for shoppers in hopes of punishing America’s largest retailer for a successful two-decade effort to remain non-unionized.

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