Americans hate elites. It seems to be one of the core principles of our culture that privileged snobs have to be taken down. That attitude can be exploited for good, when the exploited (99%) are rallied to fight their exploiters (1%), but it can also be used by the exploiters to divide the exploited. This is one of the things we saw happening in Wisconsin and it is one of the themes of the Romney campaign.
So, according to the 1%, those who by the sweat of their brows have accumulated 40% of America’s wealth, the true lazy parasites on the nation’s resources are unionised workers, especially if they are police, firefighters, and teachers! The tragedy is that this does strike a chord with many non-unionised workers who have horrible health insurance, retirement plans, working hours, and all those other things organised labor has struggled for over the last 150 years. To the minimum wage worker without health insurance or any shadow of job security the 11.8% of salaried workers who are unionised do look privileged. After all, they are getting less brutally exploitative compensation for their work.
This is the divide and conquer technique we can expect to see this year from Republicans of all kinds and, perhaps to a lesser degree, all but the most left wing (or more correctly, least right-wing) Democrats.
The movement that began with Occupy Wall Street is against the 1% and their ability to buy political power. Part of that movement has to be a defence of the right to organize and the compensation those who are organized have won.