Protesters Rally in Wis. After Threat of Layoffs

Saturday, 05 Mar 2011 07:54 PM

 

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
MADISON, Wisconsin (Reuters) – Thousands of union supporters protested Gov. Scott Walker's budget proposals on Saturday at the state capital, a day after the state's chief executive followed through on his threat to issue layoff warning notices to unions representing state workers.

Joining the crowd was liberal filmmaker Michael Moore, who praised the protesters gathered in the battle over union bargaining rights as joining the history of the American labor movement.

Walker, a Republican, has proposed increased payments for health care and pension benefits for public workers and stripping their unions of most of their collective bargaining rights, a move he says is necessary to address a budget gap of $3.6 billion for the coming two years.

The warning notices, sent on Friday to at least 13 unions, do not represent actual layoffs for the state's 300,000 public employees but take the war of words between the newly elected governor and state Democrats to a new level.

Moore told the crowd, which was smaller than it has been the last two weekends of the ongoing protests, that the nation was awash in wealth, concentrated in the hands of a few, but the public has been cowed into not standing up for itself.

"Madison is only the beginning," Moore said. "The rich have overplayed their hand.

"There was no revolt, until now here in Wisconsin," he added.

The crowd estimate was put at about 12,000 people, smaller than previous crowds that numbered in the tens of thousands.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin reminded the rally of the 1965 voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery.

"What they did was change the course of history," she said. "That is what you are doing today."

Supporting Walker's proposals, meanwhile, the Americans for Prosperity organization was in the midst of a bus tour due to conclude on Sunday in Madison. The tour started on Thursday in Kenosha, with the aim of hitting 10 cities.

Walker's bill remains stalled in the Wisconsin Senate where all 14 Democrats fled to neighboring Illinois two weeks ago to deny the measure the quorum it needs to pass in the chamber.

Dave Hansen, one of the 14, issued a statement on Friday saying: "it has become increasingly apparent that Governor Walker is not interested in compromise, but instead appears intent on prolonging the impasse."

Behind-the-scenes negotiations have failed to produce a compromise. Just one Democrat is needed for a quorum.

The absent Democrats have been threatened with $100-a-day fines and the prospect of being arrested and taken to the Senate if they return to Wisconsin.

With no action expected on the bill, Walker said he will be forced to send out layoff notices to 1,500 state employees, saving some $30 million.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

It's Beginning to Look a Lot like 2016 to GOP Govs

Friday, 28 Nov 2014 11:40 AM

A half-dozen potential Republican presidential contenders spent last week peacocking through the sprawling, manicured gr . . .

Trailer Unveiled for New Star Wars Film: 'The Force Awakens'

Friday, 28 Nov 2014 11:02 AM

The first teaser for J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens has hit the web.
There has been an awakening - ha . . .

Pope Urges More Muslim Opposition to ISIS in Turkey

Friday, 28 Nov 2014 10:55 AM

Pope Francis condemned the Islamic State group's assault on Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria, . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved