Union Showdown Spreads
By David Harrison, Staff Writer
In Indiana, a proposal to abolish the requirement that private-sector workers who are represented by a union pay union dues cleared a House committee Monday, drawing protesters to the state capitol and leading some Democrats to consider emulating their Wisconsin colleagues and fleeing the state to deny the Republicans a quorum, according to The Wall Street Journal .
In Columbus, about 3,500 protesters converged on the state capitol in Columbus Monday to decry a bill that would limit the collective-bargaining rights of state workers. They were met by about 200 Tea Party counter-protesters, according to The Columbus Dispatch . Former Gov. Ted Strickland showed up to rally the crowd against Gov. John Kasich, who defeated him last November.
And in Michigan, hundreds of demonstrators are expected in Lansing to protest Gov. Rick Snyder's proposed budget cuts and proposals to end the state's prevailing wage law and binding arbitration for public safety employees, The Detroit News reports. On Wednesday, about a thousand people are expected to protest a plan to allow emergency financial managers to undo collective bargaining agreements.
Republicans say unions have pushed for pay and benefit deals that states can no longer afford as they try to balance recession-scarred budgets. Union organizers counter that the new GOP governors and lawmakers are using the budget as an excuse to wage an ideological battle against labor.