Wis. State Workers Protest ‘Assault On Workers’ Rights’

By Liz Collin, WCCO-TV

MADISON, Wis. (WCCO) — More protests are planned across Wisconsin on Thursday over a proposal that unions call an assault on workers’ rights.

Thousands rallied at the capitol building in Madison Wednesday. They’re against Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to strip most state workers of their collective bargaining rights. Madison public schools had to call off classes Wednesday after nearly half the teachers called in sick in protest.

The frustration is being felt closer to home. On Wednesday night, Wisconsin state workers took over the Student Center at UW-River Falls.

Shelly Moore, a high school teacher, told a crowd of hundreds they must get Walker to make a different move.

“Go forward, make those phone calls, send those emails,” Moore said. “This literally voids immediately all of our contracts, everything.”

Walker’s bill would mean workers have to cover more of their costs for health insurance and pensions.

A dozen miles away, in Hudson, Wis., teachers picked an interstate overpass to take a stand.

“This obviously is about our right to organize but it’s also about what’s fair,” said Brian Huser, a social studies teacher.

The measure would mean a pay cut of anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000 for most of them.

Walker has said he has no choice making tough moves to tackle Wisconsin’s $3.6 billion deficit.

When it comes at the cost of workers protections and in the state that started some of them, people are left with concern over their own costs.

Walker still expects that his bill will pass as early as Friday.

More from Liz Collin
  • Bill

    Cry me a river..Union garbage…..and is Assault on workers really a good heading? After the AZ shooting…shame on you….

    • laurie

      What else do you call government trying to eliminate the middle class. I would call it an out and out assault.

  • Gloria

    Really? People begrudge union members their benefits but never say a word about people like Senator Kyl who will retire after next year with a $12,000 per MONTH pension. The elephants have the middle class right where they want us–fighting each other.

  • dmedic69

    Neither of you have a clue really what your talking about. They don’t get as much as you’d think for pension. It is a bill to take away their right to bargain. You notice they didn’t do it to police or fire. If you stand by and do nothing pretty soon we’ll all be working for pennies in horrble working conditions no overtime or anything like that. Look back to to the 30’s when unions were started to protect workers and their rights look at how life was then. This isn’t just about the state workers it’s about all employees and their rights which they meaning you and I will lose

    • Gloria

      Very well said.

      • Gloria

        That shoud say “very well said, dmedic69.”

    • Don Larrson

      Again, very well said. We the workers will lose. More financial troubles, forclosures and a lot of people leaving Wisconsin to support their families. This is just what the rich republicans want. Sooner than later the rich will end up paying for Gov. Walker’s mistakes.

    • RR

      Ok Mr./Ms Gloom & Doom, I don’t think that will ever happen. Why? Because like businesses, Gov’t still has to offer a competitive wage to attract qualified talent, otherwise everyone would only work for the private sector. If you would end up working for pennies a day, it would be because that’s all your job is really worth.

  • laurie

    You do realize that these workers are tax payers also. They are your neighbors, and they are not living the high life, unlike the corporations you probably voted for.

    • Victim Du Jour

      Not everyone working for a corporation is making more than Union workers.

      Passing everything off as corporate greed is like using the F-word too much.

      60’s class warfare populism is for lazy potheads.

    • mark from mntaxwaste.com

      Unions are now past their prime and sucking us tax payers money. Hit the road

    • @Lauria

      Cry me a river, your writing is like a soap opera. Fact average pay for a State worker $18.00 , not bad for someone not living the high life

      • tiredandretired

        Most of the people being affected by this are making less than the average that you quote. Source?

      • dmedic69

        Fact most State jobs are around $12. most union contracts say you can be forced to work mandatory overtime and not even get 8 hrs between shifts. I have worked for the union as well as worked jobs where the union wasn’t and the working conditions were scarey. I am now permanently injured due to that fact. Adn for those of you who don’t have a clue watch Hoffa because most of the movie is accurate as to working conditions. If you don’t believe it, go to a library and look it up in a book… and you can thank your union teacher you can read it too

  • Alan Cowden III

    Federal or state workers should not be allowed to unionize. Military members cant just call in sick when they do not feel well, neither should teachers. Teachers also get alot better benefits and pay than military also. Teachers need a pay cut.

    • Alan Cowden III

      Unions are doing nothing for the taxpayer now except costing them money.

      • Paul

        Alan Cowden III your and IDIOT try demonizing the real Problem the RICh REBUBLICANS trying to ruin you great state of Wisconsin !! I’ve worked for the State of Minnesota for 12 years and make a modest income under 40,000 a year our benifits have taken hits every year for the past 8 years we union workers are not the problem we are part of the Solution !!!!

    • d minus for you again

      you don’t know that you can go on sick call in the military? wow- you aren’t a veteran are you? teachers work their butts off, however, it is apparent that they failed with you. you should try doing a days work between now and when you die.

      • Beej West

        I am a vet, and I know that, if you go to sick call just to avoid work because you are unhappy about your conditions, which many vets would be justified in doing, since conditions really are atrocious in forward bases and such, you can be charged, under the UCMJ, Uniform Code of Military Justice, with malingering, and guess what? That could mean any number of penalties. I understand the desire to have as much as one possibly can, but, there are consequences to every action taken.
        Yes, it seems that the middle class is growing smaller, more of us are falling out of that and into poverty because of people like Bernie Madoff, and that guy Hecker(sp), guys who’ve cheated and swindled others who really should have known that the pie in the sky profits they were taking in couldn’t be real. But, greed will do that to people with little or no moral scruples.

    • dmedic69

      You should really go talk to a teacher and ask him or her how they make and how much of their own they spend on room supplies for the children they teach. Maybe then you’d have a clue. Unions being form are what now protects your rights as a worker. They are the ones who have lobbied for fair labor standards not politicians. Moron

  • Far from rich in WI

    Something needs to be done to help the state workers. I am one of them and the lavish pension and healthcare referred to earlier is not true. I make $25,000 a year working full time. I have no health care and minimal pension. I am trying to raise a family on that income. I also have 10 years on the job and sick time built up (8 hrs per mo) that Gov Walker wants to take away. So now if one of my family members has a major illness how am I supposed to support them? Also due to the Governors cuts last year, I lost all raise differential…I now make the same as a 2 year co-worker.

  • Kwai Chang Caine

    You voted in a Republican governor, What did U expect, Sympathy for the middle class! LOL!!!, You made your bed now lie in it!

    • tiredandretired

      News flash: Those being attacked did not vote for Walker. This is political backlash.

  • Mike

    How many of those state workers jump in their Prius or Civics or non union made cars after the big rally while plants that employ their fellow citizens building American cars are closing? With the loss of those plants goes good paying jobs and the ability to pay fair taxes to support those public employees. I think it’s called solidarity!

    • PAUL


    • dmedic69

      Hey WAKE UP CALL. open the door of your American Union made car and look on the tag inside the door and see where it was made. Canada or Mexico. For your info more asian ‘imports’ are made in the US than cars from GM or Ford

  • jimmy

    The top 1% is now taking 21% of total income compared to 9% in 1980. WE have to tax that 12% extra that they take at a higher rate to get the total income taxed at the same rate as in 1980.

  • Sam I am

    Look what the unions did for the nurses last year. The nurses kept saying patient care patient care and bam as soon as the dollars were settled not another word or change was done about patient care.

    I have no sympathy for any unions.

  • blacky

    Do you think it is fair for a custodian with a high school education to be making $17.00 an hour with same benefits as a teacher? I’m struggling to pay higher taxes to pay union wages for teachers and custodians.

    • jimmy

      blacky you’re right. The schools should hire illegals and pay them 9 dollars an hour cash with no benefits like the private sector does.

  • mark from mntaxwaste.com

    Look at what the Unions did for Detroit. Unemployment at 18%

    • me-con waste

      mark why does the union get blamed for bad management? Hell the union even took over the pension because the CEO’s were too stupid to run it.

  • James


  • James

    . Scott Walker and neo-conns like him pushed for NAFTA and FREE TRADE so that the corporations and the importers get richer and richer. As the jobs went to china and india the tax base dissapered. That is the result of these trators actions. Do we have to take it?

    • dmedic69

      That is because they get tax breaks sending jobs overseas. SuperValu corp has sent more than 15,000 jobs to India. that is why the country is going broke. Want to fix the problem taxz the hell out of big corperations who eliminate jobs and send them overseas because it cheaper. You need to make it more expensive for them not pat them on the back for it

  • Otto

    What about my right as a worker to not have my pocket picked by government Union people to pay for their life time pensions. No one pays for mine and I have a hard time making ends meet. The real assult on workers right has been happening by these unions not having to take a hit and suffer like the rest of us. Why should they be special? They do nothing for 90% of the rest of people who work for a living. They are the big big problem. Get rid of them now!

  • Mike

    The Dems in Wisconsin all ran away..HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.. I don’t care who your are… now that is funny…..

  • http://bestquickautoinsurancequote.com/lastest-car-insurance-news-70.html » Lastest Car Insurance News

    […] Wis. State Workers Protest ‘Assault On Workers’ Rights’ More protests are planned across Wisconsin on Thursday over a proposal that unions call an assault on workers’ rights. Read more on CBS Minnesota […]

blog comments powered by Disqus
Thursday Night Football

Listen Live