Wisconsin – Labor Fights Back, AFL-CIO Trumka Reacts
Wisconsin, the home of Super Bowl champ Green Bay Packers now has protesters at the capitol for the eleventh day. The battle heats up over Gov. Scott Walker's plan to fix the state budget and end most of the union bargaining rights held by public workers for decades.
Here's a look at the proposal and impact on public workers:
- Dissolve unions' rights to bargain over anything except salary
- Require local governments to create an employee grievance system within months
- State employee contributions of 5.8% of their pay to pensions; Pick up at least 12.6% of healthcare premium costs
- Give state Department of Health Service sweeping powers to change Wisconsin Medicaid health programs for the poor such as BadgerCare Plus to address sharply rising costs for those programs
Wisconsin's proposal has — no doubt — raised concern from union leaders throughout the nation.
Today, the AFL-CIO's Richard Trumka told Maria Bartiromothat "the Governor in Wisconsin said this was about a budget fight. This is about busting unions. This is about the workers in Wisconsin standing up to the right to collective bargaining for middle-class life."
Trumka also said this is about "governors paying back their rich donors."
When asked whether unions are willing to shoulder the financial burden states are facing, Trumka said unions "would like for some others to share the burden as well." That it "shouldn't be just middle class workers. Wall Street should kick in as well."
As the nation braces for resolution, warnings over layoffs near in Wisconsin. On Tuesday, Walker warned the government would start sending layoff notices to state employees by early next week if the budget bill does not pass.
Donna Burton contributed to this article.
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