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Anger across Wisconsin as State Assembly passes union busting bill

By staff |
March 10, 2011
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Madison, WI - After weeks of intense struggle across Wisconsin, on March 10 the state assembly has passed the union-busting bill pushed by Governor Scott Walker and the Republican Party. The assembly voted 53-42 in favor of the bill, which is expected to be signed into law by Governor Walker shortly.

On the evening of March 9, the Senate Republicans launched a surprise maneuver to ram the wildly unpopular bill through by separating it from the budget, and avoiding the quorum requirement. As the State Senate rushed to a vote, several thousand people arrived to protest outside the locked-down capitol building, eventually forcing their way inside. One Democratic senator called the vote illegal, referencing an open meeting law that requires the senate provide 24-hour notice of such action, which the Republicans did not do.

While 14 state senators have been camped out across state borders to prevent the body from reaching quorum to pass the original bill, Governor Walker has been claiming that the union busting measures are strictly budget issues. The recent separation of the anti-union legislation from the budget bill proved to the people of Wisconsin that their Governor had been lying all along - this bill has always been primarily about taking away workers’ rights to organize and collectively bargain.

The provisions of this anti-union bill will come down hard on Wisconsin workers who have had a long history of successful labor struggles. The bill would all but eliminate collective bargaining rights and would add penalties on workers who strike or organize for labor rights.

Unions are calling for the largest protest yet to take place on Saturday, March 12. A student march is being organized by Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) from the Library Mall at 11:00 a.m. to meet up with thousands of workers outside the capitol.