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US: workers fight on in Wisconsin

Issue No. 2243

Over 150,000 workers and students surrounded the Capitol building in Wisconsin in the US last Saturday.

The protest was in response to the state passing a law that all but abolishes collective bargaining for public sector workers, and cuts pay by as much as 7 percent.

This came after weeks of protest that included an inspiring occupation of the Capitol building, almost daily demonstrations across the state, and Democratic senators fleeing to try to stop the bill passing.

Left-wing actor Susan Sarandon told the crowd, “This is more than a demonstration. This is a movement.

“The Constitution does not grant workers the right to form a union, to have safe working conditions, or to work less than 12 hours a day.

“These things had to be fought for and won by workers themselves: going on strike, defying the law, defying the courts and relying on each other.”

The scale of the revolt is inspiring and there is a sizeable minority looking to a general strike to push back the Republicans.

But some union leaders are pushing the movement to look to getting Democratic Party politicians elected as the solution.

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Tue 15 Mar 2011, 18:46 GMT
Issue No. 2243
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