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Public Services :: Public sector trade unions
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Public sector trade unions
On 11 February Scott Walker, US Republican state governor of Wisconsin, proposed the introduction of an anti-trade union bill.
The bill's measures will strip public sector trade unions of their collective bargaining rights over non-wage issues, force unions to win annual votes if they are to retain any status at all in public sector workplaces and to end the payment of union dues from workers' wages.
These proposals sparked off an enormous pro-workers movement in Wisconsin and solidarity actions throughout the US.
On 9 March, Walker and the Republican Senate used an illegal manoeuvre to push through his bill, without the return of the 14 Senate Democrats (who, for three weeks, had absented themselves from the legislature to prevent its passage).
Workers' resistance has been incredible, with another occupation of the state Capitol building and a mass student walkout on 10 March, in protest at this illegal move. The occupation temporarily prevented the bill from going to the state assembly for a vote.
Socialist Alternative (the Socialist Party's counterpart in the USA) is actively campaigning for urgent preparation for general strikes and other actions to escalate the struggle until Walker backs down.
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Article dated 16 March 2011
The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party
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