Leaders of the biggest public- and private-sector unions have called a truce to their internal turf battles and are uniting behind a $30 million campaign to beat back anti-union measures in state legislatures, the Wall Street Journal reports. A dozen unions will jointly fund media buys, lobbying and opposition research designed to discredit union foes such as the Koch Brothers.
“This is a coordinated effort to de-unionize the country so we have to fight back in the same way, in a coordinated effort,” said James Hoffa
, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
Legislatures in Wisconsin, Ohio and elsewhere have taken up bills that would limit the power of their state and local unions to bargain collectively for pay and benefits. Protests began in Madison, Wis., where Republican Gov. Scott Walker wants to curb some public unions’ powers in order to cut spending, and have spread to other state capitals.
The unions' joint initiative began with a Feb. 14 sitdown among labor groups including the American Federation of Teachers, the Communications Workers of America and the United Steelworkers. Union membership in the U.S. is near all-time lows at 11.9 percent of the work force.
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