Wisconsin Assembly passes Gov. Walker’s assault on collective bargaining

From the AFL-CIO blog:

BREAKING: Wis. Assembly Passes Walker’s Assault on Collective Bargaining, Good Jobs

by Donna Jablonski, Feb 25, 2011

Early Friday, the Wisconsin Assembly passed Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) bill taking from most public employees the right to bargain collectively for good jobs, according to numerous news sources.

The vote followed three days of debate and sends the bill to the state Senate. Fourteen Senate Democrats remain out of state, denying Republicans a quorum and blocking action in that chamber.

Tens of thousands of Wisconsin workers have packed the state capitol in Madison for days protesting Walker’s proposal, and have inspired solidarity rallies across Wisconsin and throughout the country.

Slate reports:

Democrats exploded as soon as the vote was called, yelling “Cowards!” and “Shame!” at the Republicans filing out of the room.

The bill moves to the Senate, which cannot take it up until and unless 14 missing Democrats return. In a short speech to protesters, Democratic Rep. Cory Mason joked that he was “never so happy that we have two chambers.”

From Talking Points Memo:

Afterwards, the Dems filed out into the rotunda, to cheers of “Thank you! Thank you!” from the protesters who have filled the halls of the Capitol for over a week. An interesting question has been whether the day and night Capitol building protests would end after this vote. But as I write this in the Capitol’s press room, it’s up in the air to me whether the protesters will even clear out at all. I can still hear them chanting and singing songs out in the halls — including at least one round of “Hell no, we won’t go!”

Keep in mind that this is not the end of the issue — far from it. The 14 state Senate Democrats remain in exile in Illinois, preventing the state Senate from having the three-fifths quorum required to take a vote on the budget. For now, Wisconsin has become ground zero in an unexpected but pitched battle over the political future of the labor movement and the question of whether the Tea Party-fueled GOP resurgence of 2010 will trigger a backlash all its own.

So yes, the fight is far from over.

Learn more about why Wisconsin matters, visit the action page to find out what you can do to stand in solidarity with working families in Wisconsin and mark your calendar for workers’ rights rallies in Albany, Cheektowaga, Rochester and Plattsburgh.

  • Albany: Saturday, Feb. 26 at noon at the State Capitol,west side steps (RSVP via Facebook)
  • Plattsburgh: Saturday, Feb 26 at noon at Plattsburgh City Hall, 41 City Hall Place.
  • Cheektowaga: A rally will start at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 26 at the Leonard Post Jr. VFW Hall at 2451 Walden Ave.
  • Rochester: There is a rally at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 2 at City Hall in downtown Rochester.

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