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Wisconsin Assembly Votes to Strip Unions of Collective Bargaining Power

By Chuck Sudo in News on Feb 25, 2011 4:05PM

Last month, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was crowing about the businesses that would come to his state from Illinois as a result of our state income tax hike. Now, his assaults on organized labor have made his state a prime battleground for the 2012 elections after the Wisconsin Assembly ceased debate and then approved legislation stripping labor unions of their collective bargaining rights. Assembly Democrats, many of them groggy from three days of intense debate over the legislation, didn't know what hit them.

Even though the Assembly passed the measure, the battle is not yet over. It now heads to the Wisconsin State Senate, where 14 Democratic Senators have fled to Illinois to stave off the vote in the hopes of getting Walker and Madison Republicans to negotiate. Walker isn't budging, even as union leaders said they would compromise on contributions to their pensions health care insurance if they can retain their collective bargaining rights, and yesterday loosed the Wisconsin State Police to find the missing Democrats.

After the vote, Assembly Democrats shouted "Shame!" and "Cowards!" at their GOP counterparts as they left the chambers in silence.