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Labor Showdown Goes National
posted by: Alix | February 23, 2011, 04:55 AM   

As thousands still march in Madison, Wisconsin, the battle for public-sector forced unionism continues. Democratic state legislators have refused to return to the state for a vote and thousands of public employees continue to miss work for protests. While the battle rages on in Wisconsin, both Ohio and Indiana are experiencing similar protests over union-crippling legislation.

The national battle's front lines remain squarely in Wisconsin, where a resolution still seems days away. Upping the stakes in the standoff, the unions have banded together to create TV advertisements to spread their messages across the state. The ads hammer Governor Walker for not being able to compromise and waging a war against the middle class. Despite the push back, Governor Walker has remained steadfast in his commitment to help balance the budget and eliminate compulsory unionism.

While Wisconsin remains the touchstone for the national debate over union rights, similar battles were taking shape in other states over the last few hours. In Indiana, House Democrats walked out of the statehouse on Tuesday, blocking a Republican-backed bill against mandatory union dues. Only three of the 40 Democratic members of the legislature were in attendance, blocking any legislative progress. Similar debates rage in Ohio as thousands of union protesters converged at the capitol on Tuesday, prompting offices there to lock the doors to the statehouse for fear of vandalism.

Experts are estimating that these states will undoubtedly change the face of labor relations for generations to come. “I think we are looking at the future of the labor movement being defined in rotundas in several states,” stated Harley Shaiken, a professor at UC Berkeley specializing in labor issues. “This is a structural change with profound repercussions.”

Meanwhile in Wisconsin, if lawmakers take no action on the budget repair bill by the end of the week, the state will not be able to refinance debt that Walker had counted on for $165 million worth of savings under the legislation. Democratic legislators have not yet returned. Republican leaders in both the Senate and Assembly said they have the votes to pass the bill.

AAE is monitoring the situation in these states and across the country as developments emerge. Click here for resources on forced unionism and what you can do to help a teacher.

Listen Live to AAE

AAE Director of Education Policy Tracey Bailey will be discussing these topics during several radio interviews, listen via the streaming links below:

Wednesday, February 23
6:45am ET - Bob Conners Morning Show - WTVN 610 AM Columbus OH
11:30am ET - Ringside Politics w/ Jeff Crouere - WGSO 990 AM New Orleans LA
12:35pm ET - America's Radio News Network, nationally syndicated
9:35pm ET - The Top Story w/ Bob Sullivan - KOGO 600 AM San Diego CA

Thursday, February 24
11:30am ET - The Morning News - WIBC 93.1 FM Indianapolis IN
3:15pm ET - The Janet Mefferd Show, nationally syndicated

Check back for links to archived podcasts, where available.

Do you think this legislation will end forced unionism or do you foresee concessions?
Comment below.

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