Sixty-eight thousand state and local public workers and supporters rallied Saturday in Madison, WI to protest Governor Scott Walker’s (R) extreme anti-union bill that proposes to reduce state workers’ salaries and take away the right of unions to collectively bargain for salary benefits, hours, and working conditions. The bill would cut public workers’ wages between six and eight percent.
The number of protestors has been increasing throughout the week, with over 2,000 gathering on Monday, 15,000 on Tuesday, and 20,000 on Wednesday, and 25,000 on Thursday. A significant number of protestors are now sleeping in the Capitol Rotunda and are vowing to stay until the issue is resolved.
Yesterday also marked the fourth day that schools remained closed in Madison. Some two dozen other school districts also closed operation last week. In addition, thousands of students at the University of Wisconsin in Madison staged a walk out, marching from campus to the Capitol, to protest the bill.
Legislation that would limit public workers unions has also been introduced by Republican leadership in Maine, Alabama, Ohio, Arizona, and Missouri.