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Pro-Union Rallies Spread

Pro-Union Rallies Spread

Just as public sector union-busting legislation is spreading from Wisconsin to states like Ohio and Florida, so too is a push back from public sector employees.  According to Reuters, public sector workers in West Virginia plan to rally for better pay and working conditions and in support of the public employee protests in Wisconsin. 

West Virginia public workers are seeking an increase in pay, improved benefits and safer working conditions.  The employees are still under a 2005 pay freeze instituted by then Gov. Joe Manchin, a Democrat.

The union’s demands are modest, including a 3 percent cost of living adjustment and $1500 across the board for employees.  The employees also want the state to fund the West Virginia Occupational and Safety Act, which was passed in 1987 to standardize workplace safety, training and inspection.  While the law has been on the books for 24 years it has yet to be funded by any governor or the legislature.

Union members plan to demonstrate Monday wearing red bandannas as a sign of solidarity with the Wisconsin workers.  The red bandanna has a history with labor strikes.  In the 1920s, organizers for the United Mine Workers of American wore red bandannas when trying to unionize West Virginia mine workers.

Meanwhile in Madison protests continue on into Monday with neither side showing any intention of backing down or compromising. 

To read more about the fight against union busting click here.

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photo courtesy of martasman via Flickr

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133 comments

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4:26PM PST on Feb 26, 2012

"Union! Union!"

8:16PM PDT on May 13, 2011

I was just speaking to a friend in Louisianna, licensed RN who told me it's illegal to have a union in that state. I was at the very least, SHOCKED!!! Why do we allow corp. to treat workers as commodities? Why do we let the few have much while the rest of us sit idly by? I think this is the reason we have est. 30 million people in modern day slavery. I believe every state should be able to form a union , strength in numbers!

12:38PM PDT on Apr 18, 2011

This country was built by labor and unionism. Unions have the best benefits. Unions stand for so much more than just getting the wrong people to keep their jobs, that's actually the one flaw all the rest is standing together,brotherhood, sisterhood, fraternally. Skilled labor is always going to be needed unions protect against corporations who treat their employees as numbers not people. It forces them to see their people. Disbanding unions is not the answer to a municipalities financial woes. And shame on those who are trying to brainwash people into thinking otherwise. The uneducated people of the midwest who think they don't need their representation all because of paying union dues? What is this country coming to?

6:49AM PST on Feb 28, 2011

Individuals need to contact John Boehner and express your distress at the way the GOP is heading. Instead of Jobs they are attacking women's health issues, the unions and protecting the wealthy. Write your grievances to AskTheLeader@mail.house.gov
Please spread this email address to your friends, ask them to write a polite but pointed letter to this guy. He won't care but he won't like emails pointing out the stupidity of their stance on everything and failure to act like responsible citizens and public employees. (we do pay their big fat wages, cadillac healthcare and bloated pensions)

6:00AM PST on Feb 27, 2011

Marianne C. what facts do you have to back up what you are saying? Walker is right: Government unions are inherently different from private-sector unions. The purpose of private-sector unions is to get workers a larger share of the profits they helped create. But government is a monopoly and earns no profits. All government unions do is redistribute more tax dollars from taxpayers to unions. The left used to understand this. Not only did President Franklin Delano Roosevelt write in 1937: "All government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service," but as recently as 1959, the AFL-CIO Executive Council stated that "government workers have no right [to collectively bargain] beyond the authority to petition Congress—a right available to every citizen." Here is all walkes bill asks for you can lookit up on the states site. Here's what Governor Walker's Budget Repair Bill that they're so angry about actually does:

Ask government workers to pay half the cost of their pensions - still less than private employees pay for their pensions
Ask government workers to pay 12% of their own health insurance premiums - the national average for the private sector is over 20%
End collective bargaining for government unions for pensions and benefits. Allow bargaining only for raises that are less than inflation.
End forced union dues, collected by the state. Union dues would become volun

9:01AM PST on Feb 23, 2011

I think the demands are fair in this case.

7:52AM PST on Feb 23, 2011

I agree with Linda T...... LABOR this is your wake up call, Organized or Not the attacks are upon us ......UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL....I intend to enjoy my TEA this morning..as I drown the TEA BAG in a steamy cup I'll be thinking of the SLEEPING DOG you GOP A** H***s and TEA PARTY RADICALS woke up...GRRRRRRRR!!!!! You wanted it your're going to get it....

11:11PM PST on Feb 22, 2011

Times have come that unions must also give consessions. We have in Calif. by giving up 5%,paying more into retirement, etc BUT NEVER NEVER compromise your safety. SAFETY FIRST for all work places. "Google search" Napa State Hospital, Calif. See what the uniting 5 different unions together for a common cause has accomplished since Oct 2010 after one of our employees was murdered by a patient.... We have just started and know it is going to be a long road, but the most important thing to remember is all unions regardless of profession, put our differences aside, WE MUST UNITE together for the larger common cause. We must take Wisconsins union efforts, keep supporting them, and use that to keep energizing the country and the world :)

9:46PM PST on Feb 22, 2011

Kudos to all those standing up against the tyrannical bullies trying to take away rights from all--not just those in unions. Power to the people!

7:33PM PST on Feb 22, 2011

John Hall
They would take the replacement workers at less pay and benefits and then this would start all over again with you idiots saying they are making to much money and without collective bargaining they would push legislation to cut wages across the board... that is except theirs. They want 2 classes and to be able to do with the lower class as they see fit. And guess what John, you ain't even close to being included in their's.

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