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Progress in Labor Battle
posted by: Alix | February 26, 2011, 12:21 AM   

The labor battle continues to heat up all over the country as Wisconsin, Indiana, Tennessee, and Ohio lawmakers are in various stages of passing legislation that would end compulsory unionism and close budget shortfalls. Despite huge protests, media coverage, attempted filibusters and walk-outs, progress has been made in Wisconsin over the last few hours.

Governor Scott Walker's plan to end forced unionism and close budget gaps took another step forward when Republicans in the Assembly passed the legislation in the early morning hours. The bill now moves to the state Senate which is still missing the 14 Democrats that fled to Illinois to avoid a vote on the issue.

Although the bill was passed in the House, the missing Senate Democrats are stalling the vote. "I'm not asking people to agree with me on every single part of this budget-repair bill, but what I am asking is for 14 state senators to do what their colleagues in the Assembly have done over the last several days and that's come back and have a vote," said Governor Walker in a news conference this afternoon.

But those Senate Democrats, who are held up in Illinois, show no signs of returning. Lawmakers even sent state troopers out looking for them at their homes on Thursday, but they turned up no sign of them.

Some predict the step toward Right-to-Work policies will bring business to Wisconsin. Currently there are 22 right-to-work states in the U.S. and Wisconsin is not one of them. These right to work policies don't prohibit unions, but they prevent labor agreements that require workers to join a union, making them more attractive to businesses. Business executives via the Area Development's 24th Annual Corporate Survey found that 74% of respondents felt being a Right-to-Work state was "important" or "very important" among site selection factors.

Despite protests from union members, several other Republican governors are rallying around Scott Walker and his plan. Potential political candidate Tim Pawlenty's camp has created a campaign entitled, "Stand with Scott," featuring a YouTube advertisement posted this afternoon.

With the Democratic senators refusing to come back to work, only time will tell when the bill will be law in the state of Wisconsin. Due to their absence, the state was forced to refinance a portion of their debt until both sides come back to vote.

Do you think ultimately this bill will make a positive difference for the state?
Comment below.

Comments (2)Add Comment
3 R's
written by clare, February 25, 2011

strangely enough it's the unions that prevent good teachers from getting respect, recognition and reward!
written by Mama Carmen, February 25, 2011

Respect, Recognition, Reward... the 3 Rs for teachers... we are expected to give it every day of the school year, but some how it is not reciprocated

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