Labor War Brews in Wisconsin

1. Controversy Involving Walker, Union Members
2. Walker Looks At Showdown With State Employee Unions


Controversy Involving Walker, Union Members

Wants State Employees To Contribute To Pension, Health Plans

December 8, 2010

Labor leaders are firing back over what they see as
Walker's threat to take away the bargaining power of
state employee unions.

The governor-elect said he wants state employees to
contribute more to their pension and health plans to
help cut the deficit.

He took it a step further on Tuesday saying if they
don't agree, one option would be to decertify the
employee unions to force those changes.

Those comments brought a backlash Wednesday.

"He's leveling threats at the very people who make this
state work," said Christine Sinicki State

Democratic lawmakers joined with labor leaders to call-
out Walker for a plan they say attacks Wisconsin

"He's picking a fight where he thinks he can win, and
he's picking a fight with the working class in
Wisconsin," said Chris Larson State Senator Elect.

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Walker Looks At Showdown With State Employee Unions

Governor-Elect May Try To Gut Bargaining Power

By Lee Bergquist and Jason Stein

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Online

Dec. 7, 2010

Governor-elect Scott Walker raised the possibility of
essentially abolishing state employee unions on Tuesday as
one option to control rising employee benefits costs and
eliminate the state's budget deficit.

Walker, a Republican, said he's looking at a range of
options that would weaken unions, including eliminating
their ability to negotiate with the state.

"Anything from the decertify all the way through
modifications of the current laws in place," Walker said at
a luncheon sponsored by the Milwaukee Press Club at the
Newsroom Pub.

"The bottom line is that we are going to look at every legal
means we have to try to put that balance more on the side of
taxpayers and the people who care about services."

Walker's comments were an escalation of an aggressive
posture he's taken with state unions as he prepares to take
office on Jan. 3.

Union leaders said Walker and the incoming GOP-controlled
Legislature will face a fight if they seek to rewrite a 1971
state law governing state employee unions.

"It's too bad Scott Walker wants to destroy a law that
assures the uninterrupted delivery of high-quality public
services and has kept labor peace for more than three
decades," said Marty Beil, executive director of the
Wisconsin State Employees Union. "We certainly prefer
negotiation to confrontation."

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