The ripples from Madison's Capitol Square and the massive demonstrations there will formally reach Utah Saturday as local labor unions will gather to show solidarity with the Wisconsin activists' cause of protecting collective bargaining rights for workers.
Republicans have framed this as a budget issue: unionized workforces are too expensive. But in Wisconsin, the public employee unions have conceded to take the compensation cuts Governor Scott Walker has proposed, but are rallying against the Republican efforts to eliminate their right to bargain collectively for better wages, hours and workplace conditions.
From the press release announcing the rally:
States across the country are suffering record deficits because of flawed Republican policies: endless wars, Wall Street bailouts, corporate tax cuts. The rich keep getting richer, but it is American workers and their families who are paying; record unemployment, home foreclosures and personal bankruptcies. We are being forced to shoulder the deficit burden we did not create or did we benefit from. All across the country public employees are facing wage and benefit cuts. Public employee unions in Wisconsin are willing to make concessions, but that is not enough, Wisconsin Governor Walker wants to use this crisis as an excuse to break the unions. The right of workers to use their collective power to speak as one is the only thing standing between the powerful and the powerless. In Wisconsin working class heroes are taking a stand against a puppet of the wealthy elite determined to destroy public employee unions.
Democracy Now recently interviewed the president the Wisconsin Professional Firefighters Association--which is not targeted by the Republican effort's to reduce collective bargaining rights--on why his union is standing in solidarity with those unions that are targeted (see video below).
Utah State Capitol
Saturday 11 a.m.