News / USA

Wisconsin Assembly Approves Union Curbs

Escorted by law enforcement officers, Wisconsin Assembly Republicans exit the state Capitol after cutting off debate and rapidly voting to pass a controversial budget repair bill, February 25, 2011
Escorted by law enforcement officers, Wisconsin Assembly Republicans exit the state Capitol after cutting off debate and rapidly voting to pass a controversial budget repair bill, February 25, 2011

Lawmakers in Wisconsin have moved closer to stripping state employees of union bargaining rights.  

The Republican-dominated State Assembly abruptly ended an overnight debate on the measure, and held a 1:00 a.m. vote that caught many Democrats, who oppose the bill, off-guard.

Democrats shouted "Shame! Shame! Shame!" as their Republican colleagues silently filed out of the building after voting on the measure.

The bill must still clear the state Senate, but a vote there is uncertain because all 14 Democratic senators have left the state, denying the Republican majority the required number of lawmakers needed to hold a vote.

Republican Governor Scott Walker has argued that the measure is necessary to close a $137 million budget deficit this year, and $3.6 billion in the next two years.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators had gathered in the state capital of Madison to protest the bill, with many crowded into the Capitol building itself.

A political fight over union rights could spread to other parts of the country, as similar legislation is being considered in other states, including nearby Indiana and Ohio.

The legislation being debated would deny public employee unions the right to collectively bargain for pensions, benefits and other terms of their employment, while maintaining their right to negotiate wages.  It would also require public employees to put aside more of their salaries toward their health care and pension benefits.  

Critics accuse Republicans of using the legislation to weaken the unions.  Some also say the move is politically motivated, as labor unions are major contributors to the Democratic Party.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid