CLEVELAND — President Barack Obama says he strongly disapproves of new laws restricting public employee unions in Ohio and Wisconsin and says states should not use the financial crisis as an excuse to erode bargaining rights.
He tells Romona Robinson of Cleveland's WKYC-TV in a White House interview Tuesday public employees should not be blamed for a financial crisis they had nothing to do with and sacrifices should be shared in tough economic times.
Under Ohio's new law, 350,000 public workers can negotiate wages and certain work conditions but not health care, sick time or pension benefits. Opponents hope to ask voters to overturn the measure.
Wisconsin's law covers 175,000 workers, exempting police and firefighters. It's temporarily blocked by a court order.
Obama tells Robinson whether it's Wisconsin or what he's seeing in Ohio, he strongly disapproves.
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