Saturday, March 12, 2011

WI governor signs anti-union bill

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

Source: Press TV

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has signed into law a controversial bill that restricts the collective bargaining rights of public sector unions.

Despite national public rage, the Republican Walker signed the measure on Friday after it was approved in the Republican-controlled state Assembly on Thursday, The Washington Post reported on Friday.

The bargaining restrictions begin when current contracts expire. Walker recently moved to end contract extensions for 39,000 unionized state workers, effective on Sunday.

Walker insisted that the restrictions are needed to help the state's cash-strapped municipalities deal with a projected 1.27 billion dollar drop in state aid over the next two years.

His proposal sparked a major confrontation with organized labor and the largest protests in Wisconsin since the Vietnam War.

On Thursday, 8,000 workers also gathered at the Indiana Statehouse to protest Walker's plan which they see as adversely impacting unions and public schools.

Protesters said the legislation is part of a larger effort by Republicans aiming to undermine unions which are a major source of financial support for Democrats.

Massive rallies are also planned for Saturday.

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