Protests grow louder in Ohio, Indiana
Protesters rally last week at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus against a bill curbing public workers' collective-bargaining rights.
March 1st, 2011
01:36 PM ET

Protests grow louder in Ohio, Indiana

As Wisconsin's pro-union protests rage, a huge crowd in Ohio is gathering Tuesday for the event "Rally to Save Ohio's Middle Class." The movement, which reportedly could draw 20,000 people, is being documented live on Facebook. The AFL-CIO also is tweeting the event.

Protesters are demanding lawmakers drop a bill that would end Ohio public employees' right to collective bargaining. An Ohio Senate committee has said it will revise and vote this week on the legislation that would affect about 350,000 state workers, teachers, public safety employees and others.

And in Indiana, lawmakers have stooped to name-calling in a debate that pits union forces against legislators who want to undo union rights.

Are you in the middle of any of it? Send an iReport.

Though the stakes are different in each state, what is clear is that a fight in Wisconsin has ballooned into a huge national debate pitting Republicans against Democrats. President Barack Obama voiced his support for public workers Monday, and the liberal activist group Moveon.org has been staging demonstrations across the nation in support of unions.

The debate is loaded with nuance and complexity, and informed by the history of unionizing in the United States, Slate points out. USA Today analyzed the numbers and on Tuesday reported that Wisconsin is one of 41 states where public workers earn higher average pay and benefits than private workers in the same state.

The Columbus, Ohio, City Council opposes legislation in its state because members say it would hurt families, CNN affiliate WBNS-TV in Columbus reported. The council said it wants more discussion on ways to fix the state budget shortfall.

"We want to sit across from our police officers and our firefighters," council member Zach Klein told WBNS. "We want them to know that we're supporting our teachers and other working families, to have an arms-length, reasonable conversation about wages and benefits, and that's exactly what collective bargaining has done."

In Mahoning County, Ohio, Democrat David Betras decried the bill as an "assault on middle class values," according to CNN affiliate WKBN-TV in Youngstown. He told the station, "It puts political patronage and cronyism back into our public employees. We want to keep that out. Public employees do a good job. ..."

E-mails from as far away as Germany and Scotland have been flooding the offices of House members, The Columbus Dispatch said. One office reported receiving more than 10,000 e-mails, according to the paper.

Protesting hasn't gotten as heated as the political rhetoric in Indiana. Lawmakers started the week by meeting behind closed doors at an Urbana hotel to negotiate legislation. It went downhill quickly.

State Rep. Charlie Brown, a Gary Democrat, called Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma a "windbag," CNN affiliate WRTV-TV in Indianapolis reported. "He's a 6-foot-4, 230-pound windbag," Brown said. "He doesn't know how to negotiate. He doesn't know how to move his ego aside and get down to the nitty-gritty."

Brown told the station that Bosma had "backed himself into a corner" and "doesn't know how to fight his way out of it." Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels referred to Democrats spending time in the hotel's pool and hot tub, WRTV reported.

In Wisconsin, Republican Gov. Scott Walker has threatened massive layoffs if his bill limiting collective-bargaining rights for public-sector employees doesn't pass. The bill also would force public workers to cover more of their retirement plans and health care premiums. Watch Walker discuss the bill and the state's projected $3.6 billion budget gap by 2013. Wisconsin's 14 Democratic senators have left the state and gone to Illinois to prevent a quorum of 20 votes needed for the budget repair bill to pass.

Passage of the bill would limit collective bargaining to wages. Any pay increases beyond the rate of inflation would be subject to voter approval.

Pro-union forces say the governor is trying to curb long-held labor rights under the guise of fiscal responsibility.

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Filed under: Illinois • Indiana • Ohio • Protest • Wisconsin
soundoff (1,061 Responses)
  1. NewMalthus

    So why has CNN hushed up this story ???

    Last Friday.... after the Assembly voted to pass the Budget Repair Bill, Wis. Assemblyman Hintz , Democrat, turned to a female colleague, Rep. Michelle Litjens and said: "You are F***king dead!"

    Google it.

    March 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Former Democrat

      It's because CNN is not a legit news source, they're like Home and Garden on steroids.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lori green

      CNN – Communist News Network. Nuff said!

      March 1, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lucid Citizen

      CNN – Crescent News Network

      March 1, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • mif991

      I can't be out there to counter protest the union workers. But I would if I could. They can be loud, but no amount of screaming will magically feed the bloated pension monster...this beast will never be satisfied.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • inofritzn

      Doesn't count unless they can blame some horrible incident on the Tea Party/republicans. Wouldn't surprise me if they did end up blaming them for these puke liberals.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Grafixer

      2 basic things about economy. Expense and Income. Why are we continuing to allow Corporations to not pay taxes? Why are we allowing the GOP to reduce the tax revenues that the country needs? Where are the jobs that the massive tax breaks and loopholes are supposed to help the Corporate rich to create? Why is it that the banks and Wall Street are still playing the same games with money that caused the recession? Where are the regulations? These are the issues – not the unions, and not the average worker. OUR INCOME HAS BEEN REDUCED. Expecting the middle class to pay for what the corporate rich caused – and watch the cutting of income of workers be handed to those same thieves is just wrong.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Grafixer: Then raise taxes and watch the companies and investors leave. Basic economics states that capital goes where it is wanted and treated well. If you tax it and regulate it, then the capital will go elsewhere. If taxes are raised in Wisconsin, then they will be just like Michigan and Ohio…..broke and jobless. What a great combination.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • AceRyder

      Grafixer – so, just tax everyone else to feed this bottomless pit of government expenses?

      March 1, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aeromechanic.

      Yeah, he said it. He meant it politically. IOWs her legislative career was over. She representas a heavily union district and the chances of her being re-elected are very slim.

      The 2 legislators know each other personally and consider each other as friends.

      FWIW, he appologized to her and she accepted. She also said that she never feared for her life and that she knew he would never hurt her.

      Anything else you want to stir up controversy about?

      March 1, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • inofritzn

      Dear Angry, spoken like a true liberal! Congratulations you are on your way to the top! Enjoy your angry life

      March 1, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • AceRyder

      Angry, you need to steep away from your keyboard before you go all Loughner. Calm down, it's just politics – so you're right and the other 50% or so of society is fascist? You must be a kid to think so absolutely.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • fuyuko

      cnn would rather talk about dysfunctional actors.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lara

      "USA Today analyzed the numbers and on Tuesday reported that Wisconsin is one of 41 states where public workers earn higher average pay and benefits than private workers in the same state."
      This quote you included is very misleading, because you failled to include that 60% of public workers have a college degree and tend to stay in one profession (firemen, police officers, teachers). As opposed to private workers who only 20% have a college degree and typically will change careers during their lifetime.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      First, if you idiots all hate CNN so much why bother reading it? That's really kind of stupid don't you think? Second, the protests are not about wages, benefits, or pensions, it's about collective bargaining. Don't comment unless you know the full story. The unions have come out and said they'd agree to all Gover Weasels (I mean Walkers) demands EXCEPT collective bargaining. The loss of unions would affect all of us workers. Without unions what would stop companies and corporations from slowly taking away the benfeits we know enjoy? What's to say we won't go back to 6 day work weeks, no vacations, no sick time? Did you ever think about that? Don't think it couldn't happen.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Princeezee

      Then she should report him to the police and have arrested him you dummy. Why bother cover that in the news. But you are puddle and probably want us to read how you licked the lice off your hair last night as Headline News on CNN

      March 1, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • CHall Hawkeye

      if that's not a double-standard, i don't know what is. if these comments had been made by a tea-party conservative, or if some of these signs had shown up at a republican rally, or if republican legislators had FLED THE STATE to avoid a vote they knew they'd lose–can you imagine it?? the liberals would be coming out of their shoes on the attack!! but no, these union protestors and wisconsin democrats are "fighting for the middle class!" i just threw up in my mouth a little bit...

      March 1, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • viablanca

      This is the only time you will hear about it on CNN. If it were a Repubican saying it to a Democrat there would be round table discussions. I am officially changing from a Democrat to an Independent. I can no longer support the double standard that the left lives by

      March 1, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blue

      HA HA! No "hushup." It's right out there. As well as Ms. Litjens response that she felt that the remark was directed generally and not to her personally. As for Hintz, well, he's in trouble anyway in a massage parlor sting. So, before we make blanket accusations about individual actions, let's hear the whole story, hmmmm? Including the fact that the unions already agreed to the benefits increase; Gov Walker rescinded the State Patrol's contract (who had endorsed him) the day he appointed the father of the Fitzgerals Bros (heads of the Wis Senate and Assembly) to run the State Patrol; and the budget wouldn't need "repair" if certain business interests hadn't had their tax rates reduced to 0. And, an then there's the no-bid contracting for energy and utility contracts–Oh wait! Didn't I hear the Koch brothers were oil billionaires? What a coincidence. Gov Walker is bought, paid for, and tied up with a bow. They should show him in pictures on a leash. Unfortunately for him, he also lacks the brainpower (couldn't make it in college) to understand this.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nodack

      I love you guys bashing CNN. They cover it all and allow everybody to post including right wingers. Try going to FOX News and posting something anti Republican. I guarantee it will be your last post there because they do not allow any viewpoints other than right wing Republican viewpoints. That is the News station you guys swear is the only "Fair and Balanced" news source on the planet and in reality it's just a Big Business/GOP propaganda machine.

      Good luck brainwashed sheep.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike kerns

      It did not happen thats why.go back to youre. Comfort zone at fox they will tell you what you want to hear cnn reports news not talking points

      March 1, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al

      Kind of like the guy who stood up in the Georgia town hall meeting and asked when was somebody going to shoot Obama. Google it.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      @newmalthus how could a Democrat turn to a GOPer last friday when they were in Illinois last friday. 14 of them. Why are you making up news. Cnn is the source here. Where did you get this from and politically if she votes for this she might be politcally done.

      March 2, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jackson

    Wrong! Gov. Scott Walker has not threatened massive layoffs if the bill doesn't pass. Wisconsin is BROKE and doesn't have the money to keep paying these people!

    March 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • TruthTeller

      So by taking away their collective bargaining rights you no longer have to pay them?

      March 1, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • fuyuko

      Wisconsin isn't the only 'broke' state. There are states in worse condition who still manage to honor their debts.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • former republican cheese

      yeah, we are broke because Gov. Wackey passed big time tax cuts for corps, otherwise we would have a budget surplus. Don't forget the "projected" 3.6B shortfall is counting on more higher income tax breaks and corp incentives the legislature is planning on passing this year. Now they attack teacher's saleries? Teachers are not top on my list when I think of overpaid big salaries. Every polotician in this state makes more per year than the best paid teachers. Cut their salaries. Be a legislature for free, and THEN you will be a public servant.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • The_Mick

      So then why is he happy letting the police and fire department unions keep their collective bargaining? Oh, right, the Milwaukee police and fire unions endorsed him in the last election: the teachers didn't!

      March 1, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • tom

      Wisconsin is broke because of all the tax breaks that the Gov and his party gave away to big business. Corp tax rates went from nearly 10% down to less than 5. When you give up so much revenue there is no way you can stay above water.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chuck

      YOU are wrong, they already agreed to the pay and benefit cuts. It wasn't enough for the Gov. he wants to end collective bargaining and not fix the budget. This is nothing more than a partisan attack waged by the Koch bros.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Grafixer

      Nope. I watched the video of Walker stating he would lay people off if the Dems didn't come back. If they come back, Walker knows that the bill will pass. You can coat it anyway you like, but this is the same tactic the GOP used to get the tax breaks for the corporate rich. They threatened to punish 98% of America – if they didn't get their way. They got it. Now, Walker and other GOP Govs are using the same threatening tactics. If it is truly that WI can't afford these people, and he will lay them off even if the bill is passed, then Walker is eliminating jobs. CUTTING JOBS. WHERE ARE THE JOBS? Didn't the GOP run on creating jobs? I don't remember any of them campaigning on doing what is best for the corporate rich at the expense of their voters. Do you?

      March 1, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angry at Gov

      NO. YOU'RE WRONG. Seriously. Where have you been? What have you been watching? Oh, that's right, faux news would never report that aspect of the story.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • fuyuko

      he has stated he won't touch the public safety unions because he can't afford to lose public safety in his state to strikes. But to me it is hypocritical to cut funding for one public worker and not touch the large benefits of public safety and fiermen who make plenty more. Way to go governor. You're really tough on those unions.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • James Lee

      Yea, I recall listening to that prank phone call and hearing Walker say, "II got layoff notices ready... and 5 to 6 thousand state workers will get notices." when he was asked if he was willing to negotiate by "Koch". I don't care for either side of politics, so I despise it when I hear elected officials play with our lives. You can say all you want, but that tape exposed what his agenda truly is to me.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. BlondieCali

    Why are we concerned about protecting the rights of government workers that corrupt agencies such as CPS, law enforcement, welfare or public housing programs, Social Security/Medicare and Public Utilities? Haven't we all hated the acinine DMV proccessors, high utilities used to keep paying union workers higher and higher wages and cheap healthcare? Incase no one has noticed, the middle class NO LONGER exists! Government jobs don't help newly graduated teens or college graduates, parolees trying to turn their lives around, or those who have been unemployed for any length of time. Is the "goverment employee mentality" something we need to protect with unions? No. Unions have become corrupt, selfish, and selective. We need freedom, jobs, small businesses owned by Americans and a breakup of the intricate corrupt rings of workers who believe they are better than those of us who have been laid off or have suffered the foreclosure of their businesses.

    March 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      we should totally stand behind the corporate thugs who want to keep wages low, hours long, and unions in the past. Bring child labor back! Bring back lower minimum wages! Bring back the "sweatshops" of yore!

      March 1, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      you miss the point. there is no freedom without collective bargaining. it is then the individual against the corporation or the government. you may not like unions for a lot of valid reasons but to give up that right is like giving up your right to vote, which is literally strength in numbers and majority rule. if you work for a living then you are a beneficiary of the unions through negotiation and laws enacted whether you are union or not. maybe we can all go to work for wal mart in your version of the future.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • EarnYourOwn

      Lisa,
      Spouting talking points from the Liberal Base won't help your arguement in a country that has adapted its laws to protect and server its people in regards to why Unions were formed. BTW if Unions are so needed why does the Federal Government not have Unions? Unions don't want you to hear about how the Feds function. Stop believing everything you read on CNN or MSNBC and do some research on your own.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • inofritzn

      Dear Lisa, Step away from the liberal kool-aid and grow an independent brain. Or a brain period.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • james

      what a load of b.s this has nothing to do with "saving the middle class". people who work for the government shouldent be alowed to form unions.

      cnn is pathetic

      change is coming

      March 1, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cliff

      Public Servant Collective Bargaining is a joke..

      In the private sector you have true "bargaining" power for both the company and the workers.

      The workers have the ultimate power to strike if they cannot come to an agreement with management, and management have the power to lock out the workers or even move to another Country if thy cannot come to an agreement with the workers. TRUE BARGANING

      This is not the case with public servants and elected officials.

      Here in New York, for example, in our County, Village. Town, and School Board negotiations, the union sends in a professional negotiator up against local representatives (who are volunteers or earn very little and usually meet once a month).

      The union knows how the dance works. They will ask for more then they expect to get and if elected officials say "no, the citizens cannot afford to give you any more wages/ benefits" The union says: "fine, call in a State Arbitrator ( at the local government expense) and we will force you into "binding arbitration".

      Then a local municipaity or School Board is forced to hire a professional negotiator because, believe me, you cannot go in front of one of these State Arbitrators without a professional to argue your case. This cost thousands of taxpayer's dollars.

      It always ends up the same in the end. The arbitrator never gives the union exactly what they asked for, but they never agree that the local government cannot afford to pay for something in between. This goes on year after year, with the Union getting what they had actually planned to get to begin with, and the local government giving more and more.

      The arbitrator has no skin in the game. The Arbitrator does not care if it will cost the local government another half million dollars, a million dollars or ten million dollars in wages or benefits. The Mayor, School Board or County Leg. cannot "lock out the police or highway department, close a school or threaten to move the municipaliity to another Country.

      This is NOT COLLECTIVE BARGANING ! The union holds all the power. This is a collective shakedown of the citzens.

      In most cases our elected officials do not even bother to go this route anymore. They simply play the game and give the Union something every year just to save the cost of arbitration.

      Like it was for many many years, COLLECTIVE BARGAINING SHOULD BE OUTLAWED FOR PUBLIC SERVANTS.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • BMaryland

      Well said Lisa & Mike.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • fuyuko

      when you stop protecting the rights for any segment of a population you leave them open to abuse. american's want their benefits but do not wish to pay the true cost of services.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • CHall Hawkeye

      Lisa and Mike, are you serious?? What about the 89% of US workers who are not union members? Do you think our work lives are some sort of Dickensian nightmare? Things in your fantasy world must be pretty grim...go out in the sunlight! There are literally dozens of Federal laws which protect the US worker...FSLA, FMLA, or ERISA ring any bells? and there is no such thing as the "right" to collective bargaining. There are 22 "right to work" states, and 5 states outlaw collective bargaining outright for public employees. fail

      March 1, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike S.

      @ Mike,
      what you also do not realize is through collective bargaining the collective workers are holding the companies hostage. Companies have should have rights also.
      I really do not feel like reminding you about the auto workers. But what is the reason that government employees need a union? our tax dollars pay those union due's which are then sent to the dems. money laundering is what comes to mind. If the company/state is broke then it (company/state) has every right to save itself. This means doing what it can to bring its finances back inline.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Lisa,
      Government and corporations are not the same. You cannot ask for protection from government, they are part of the people you are hired to serve. The government sets the laws by which corporations must obey in everything, not least of which is labor laws. You don't ask for protection from the very people who are elected to inact the laws to protect workers. It is because protection is not what the public unions care about, its the sweet heart pay and benefits they get because of the money unions pour into electing the very people who are suppose to negotiate with them. It is no different than asking your boss, who you hired, for a raise and if you don't get it then you threaten to fire him and find someone who will. It really is that simple. I'm sure that the gov. in these states would be more than happy to let you keep all your union rights if you agree to be excluded from voting in elections. Because that is how those who oppose you see this. Each election cycle you protest and rally against anyone who would make things harder for you to get what you want, when someone finally gets elected that stands up to the threats you spout, your spinless paid for lackies run away and hide to keep the democratic process from working. Your spoiled, nasty little children.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Camuski

      Don't be stupid, the other 89% of companies only treat their employees "well" because of the fear the unions pose to their business. I work for a company that cottles the employees of a certain division of our business because they want the unions to stay away. As much as I hate to say it, without the unions, you could very well have a dickensesque nightmare.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anonymous Person

      As a governement employee in Ohio. I can tell you that the problem is at Senior management and politicians. They make political decisions all the time to make themselves look good. They don't make wise financial decisions. It's a big gangster club, and they are shifting the blam to the state employees that keep your unemployment checks flowing. The wellfare working. That go out and protect the children that are abused. And I got better pay and benefits in the private sector in the past, so NO, it's not that we are over paid. It is nothing more than politicians playing games.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Punkass

    What century are we living in? If by losing the CBA are employees now going to be mistreated and abused? There are laws in place to protect workers, we dont need unions anymore. Somehow I manage just fine without being in a union. I contribute to my retirement and healthcare....I expect public workers to do the same. I dont think that is too much to ask.

    March 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Smokingman

      The union agreed to the changes in Health insurance and pensions in the bill, just not the removal of their right to collective bargaining... So the Gov got what he needed, but wanted more that he didn't need for the budget....

      March 1, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • fuyuko

      not true. I am a government worker with a union, my sister is a government worker who is non-unionized. She works every day, many long hours. due to budget cuts she works non-stop. the work never gets done, because the non-union is under-funded and under-staffed. there is no union to protect her rights, and the bosses simply do not care.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      You are managing well without a union specifically because there are unions forcing the people who control almost all the money in this country to give you human wages, hours and over-time when required. They did not do that over the last 100 years by their good graces. They were forced to by organized labor.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • fuyuko

      we will always need unions. sadly bosses aren't warm and fuzzy carebears looking out for their employees. they are trying to make a buck.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Punkass

      @fuyuko If your sis isnt happy with her job, she should leave and find another one. Unions served a purpose but not anymore. @ Jack, I dont think you understand how unions work. No union protects me. The law protects me. You can say that unions helped put those laws in place, but to say they are the sole factor here is ridiculous. Public workers in 41 states have been wages and benefits than the private sector on average. None of you who commented acknowledged the part where I said public workers should contribute the same as me. The part where the union agreed to pay more, still doesnt scratch the surface of what I contribute to my own healthcare and retirement. Times are changing....ppl need to adapt.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • fuyuko

      Yes she could, because the job climate here in california is so excellent. :Eyeroll: Be realistic.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Punkass

      @ fuyuko I live in Cali numbnuts. Dont try and school me on the job market here. I have had half a doz friends leave jobs and find new ones in the last 2 years. Your sister isnt trying hard enough. If you dont want to change your fate, learn to live with it.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. liberty

    Unions ... Work Less Want More ...

    March 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katherine

      Well said.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angry at Gov

      If it weren't for unions Katherine, your **s would still be working in the sweat shop for 10 cents a day, 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, in unsafe working conditions.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • lionhart

      Spoken like a person not in a union.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • fuyuko

      way to make a broad generalization. Not every union worker is lazy.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • TRouble

      Very well said!

      BTW CNN – why is all of coverage so geared towards the support of the dems? I'm an independent
      but the reporting has clearly not been equal time.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Punkass

      Angry at gov is living in 1905 lol. ....get a life....or just get educated.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Reason

    Stop "pledging support" for union members, get off your personal-trainer-toned duff and do something about it, Obama! You used to be a community organizer. Did your morals melt on election day?

    March 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bryan

      While I'm sure that Obama wants to step in and help support the unions, he can't. You can't forget that our type of government is called Federalism – where the power is distrubuted and shared between national, state, and local governments. You don't want the feds messing in state affairs. That would open up a whole big pandora's box and open the doors for us to become what is called Nationalism (such as exists in England or France).

      March 1, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sagebrush Shorty.t

    I have belonged to two unions in my life. The first was the United Auto Workers in the mid -sixties. This union was arguably necessary in the auto industry especially for non-skilled assembly-line jobs. The second was the United Steel Workers in the mid seventies. This was a totally useless and corrupt union in my opinion.
    Just wanted to get my 2 cents in.

    March 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Hugo Stiglitz

    HA these Union Workers are the same jerks that treat me like garbage anytime I go to the DMV, a court house, or any other government building. They are so disrespectful and very unhelpful. Yet they make more money than me, from my own tax payer money on their bloated salary and benefits. NO to these useless, greedy, Unions. Its my money they take and they want more.

    March 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      So true!

      March 1, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • jen

      Maybe you are treated poorly because you are a jerk. Just something to consider...

      March 1, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katherine

      I'm a nice gal, and I could not be treated worse at these government agencies. It's pathetic. Good that there will be layoffs, there are plenty of unemployed people out there that are willing to actually work, and do it with integrity.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. johnborg

    To the guy who made the comment about unions giving money to Democrats:
    Yes, they do give some money to Democrats. But, have you recently looked up the GOP's top 200 donars... none of them are individuals, they are all massive corporations. Unions are an aggregate of workers. A corporation is not, it is a massive heiarchy that creates billions of dollars for very few. So, unions give a little money to Dem's. But, if no one but true human individuals could give money, then the GOP would fall apart (though that is probably for the best).

    March 1, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      Sorry sir, but unions are the biggest corporation in America.

      Don't believe it? Look it up.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Truth Seeker

      http://www.opensecrets.org/overview/industries.php

      Here's a break down of donors...notice the first industry to donate to republicans...it's #14 on the list. Do some research.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • TRouble

      Corporations give PRIVATE earned money, which they are allowed to do. Unions give "Public" money! Big difference.

      Side note – not even FDR thought gov't workers should be allowed to have unions. Put that in your pot pipe and smoke it!

      March 1, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Midwest Taxpayer

      It's funny. Lawyers and lobbyists who negotiate and get paid for CBA's, educators and public sector are the top donors for Dems.

      March 1, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. enoughis

    Public employees do not deserve any more than I get. No one is matching or even contributing to my 401K. I'm not assured of getting a raise. If I want to keep my job, I have to produce. It shouldn't be any different for a public employee. The problem I have with unions is they bread employees who feel that benefits are owed to them. If you're a good employee, you wouldn't have to fear for your job. As far as education goes, I know there are a bunch of unqualified educator teaching out children. If it weren't for the unions, we could weed these miscreants out, providing our kids with a better education.

    March 1, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      I don't know where you get your info from, (probably from the drunk next to you at the bar) but: Two economists at the University of Wisconsin, Keith Bender and John Heywood, said: “Holding education and other characteristics the same, typical state and local workers earn an average of 11 percent less and 12 percent less, respectively, than comparable private-sector workers.”" Good benefits only make up for about 2/3rds of that difference. Do your homework. My wife's a teacher and comes home EXHAUSTED every evening from dealing with nasty middle-schoolers.

      Google it!

      March 1, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      hey Jack, at least your EXHAUSTED wife will hae 3 months off to recuperate. There is no way teachers retireing at 55 have earned the right to do so on what the public has kicked in alone, work 30 years and get paid for 30 more, try figuring out how much you would have to save on your own to retire with that much guaranteed income and let me know what you come up with.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • fuyuko

      these benefits ARE owed to them. They were agreed to by the state. the state is welching on its agreement. As far, as not deserving benefits, of course they deserve them. this is the package they were promised. Teaching children in the US is not a one room schoolhouse filled with wonderful little tykes anymore. It can be a warzone. Offering decent benefits packages will attract good teachers.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. NewMalthus

    So why has CNN hushed up this story ???

    Last Friday.... after the Assembly voted to engross the Budget Repair Bill, Wis. Assemblyman Hintz , Democrat, turned to a female colleague, Rep. Michelle Litjens and said: "You are F***king dead!"

    Research it online. As usual, not a peep from the left-wing media. CNN is so in the tank, like their ratings

    March 1, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. CHristian McDougal

    Get these Union guys the heck out of there. All they do is slow down the country. That is why immigrants have all the jobs. because the union workers need a break every hour, need an hour lunch and want too much pay. Unions are bad for this country.

    March 1, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. tim

    this is about collective bargaining rights.Thats it. Republicans want slaves,thats it.

    March 1, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • DADvocate

      Public unions want to make the rest of us slaves to their demands.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • EarnYourOwn

      All they want is the ability for these Union people to hold the government hostage over salaries and benifits to end. But I guess because you are the one holding the gevernment hostage it is ok now, but when the Repubs did it to try and stop OBAMACARE it was anti ameerican. Your true colours are shinning through and they just happen to be all yellow.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • inofritzn

      Does your small liberal brain understand the difference between private and public?

      March 1, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Rev. Steven C. Case

    Well, how surprising all the uproar. How about we challenge all the Tea Party people over this. Oh, BTW where are the two persons who are–supposedly- bankrolling–this movement? We get whom we voted for in our society–so those of you who stayed home last November you bear the responsibility for this mess.

    March 1, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alientech

      So Democracy is a mess when your people lose? How predictably Left of you.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Apparently we don't get who we voted for if we elect a Republican majority. Seems we get a bunch of sore losers who don't except that they lost.

      March 1, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Nemesis

    Unions and their members make me wanna throw up.

    March 1, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
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