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CHICAGO (AP) — Across the middle of the country, organized labor has taken one hit after another in places that were once union strongholds: Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Indiana, where workers lost bargaining power and saw their ranks shrink, leaving them weaker than almost any time in the past century.

The notable exception is Illinois. Here, it’s almost as though the Great Recession and the Republican resurgence of 2010 never happened. Public employees still have their defined-benefit pensions. Unions still negotiate and collect dues. And little public blame has been heaped on labor for the state’s financial problems.

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