(Reuters) – Tea Party activist and Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann on Saturday defended moves by fellow Republicans in Wisconsin to reduce state union bargaining power.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has sparked mass protests in the state this week with a proposal to cut state employee benefits and roll back public union collective bargaining rights.
“Don’t let anyone tell you that the government workers in Wisconsin are losing their collective bargaining rights over wages,” Bachmann said in a speech to a South Carolina Republican women’s group.
“They are not. They are retaining them. It’s their collective bargaining right over their benefits.”
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MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Scott Walker on Friday ruled out a compromise proposed by a key union to retain collective bargaining rights in exchange for public workers accepting benefit cuts.
At a press conference, Walker said he could not consider the offer by the largest state workers union because it only covered some public employees and came late in the process.
Walker and other Republicans have been trying to pass a controversial bill that would end a half-century of collective bargaining for most public workers in Wisconsin.
From The Washington Post (Editorial):
In Egypt, workers are having a revolutionary February. In the United States, by contrast, February is shaping up as the cruelest month workers have known in decades.
The coup de grace that toppled Hosni Mubarak came after tens of thousands of Egyptian workers went on strike beginning last Tuesday.
But even as workers were helping topple the regime in Cairo, one state government in particular was moving to topple workers’ organizations here in the United States. Last Friday, Scott Walker, Wisconsin’s new Republican governor, proposed taking away most collective bargaining rights of public employees.