Battle Lines Drawn In Wisconsin Over Workers Rights

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011 at 6:49 am

A firestorm has erupted in Wisconsin in the wake of Governor Scott Walker’s proposal to do away with the collective bargaining rights of many of the state’s union workers. Walker says the legislation is necessary because of the state’s dire economic situation, and the bill could be passed and signed into law by the weekend.

State workers, including teachers unions, aren’t taking the news lying down. The Wisconsin Department of Administration estimates that 10,000 protesters demonstrated outside the Capitol on Tuesday, with 3,000 more filling the Capitol Rotunda. But the drama may just be beginning.

Yesterday the Madison school district released a statement saying that “Due to substantial concerns of excessive staff absences, the School District is forced to close all of our schools to students on Wednesday, today.

As of yesterday evening, 40% of the 2,600 members of the teacher bargaining unit called in sick, and it is expected that this number will continue to increase throughout the morning. Nobody is using the word “strike” at this point, but some fear that could be coming.

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