State of the unions: Protests in overtime

William Thibodeau, center, protests in the capitol rotunda as a round-the-clock demonstration over the proposed Budget Repair bill continues in Madison, Wisconsin. Demonstrators have occupied the building’s interior for the past 13 days protesting Gov. Walker’s attempt to push through a bill that would restrict collective bargaining for most government workers in the state.

Wisconsin’s Republican Governor Scott Walker said yesterday he would not back down in his confrontation with state public sector unions and repeated his threat to lay off workers if the standoff continues.

Walker urged the 14 Senate Democrats who fled Wisconsin to block a vote on his plan to curb public union collective bargaining rights to return, and said he hoped to avoid layoffs.

“If we do not get these changes and the Senate Democrats do not come back, we’re going to be forced to make up the savings in layoffs. And that to me is unacceptable,” Walker said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Tens of thousands of protesters marched against Walker’s plan in Wisconsin on Saturday and solidarity rallies for labor rights were held around the country. More protesters were expected at the state capital yesterday.

Opponents see Walker’s proposal as an attempt to break the union movement, and the Wisconsin fight has become a flashpoint in a growing national struggle over labor union power.

Wisconsin’s state Assembly approved the plan on Friday but Senate Democrats have fled to prevent a vote in that chamber, which also must pass the bill. Walker says the plan is vital to close a budget deficit of $137 million.

The Democrats fled the state because they feared they could be compelled to attend the Senate if they remained.

National trend?

Other states have drawn inspiration from Walker’s effort, with similar measures pending in Ohio, Tennessee, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa and Kansas.

In Indiana, Democratic lawmakers also have left the state to deny Republicans a vote on Republican-backed bills that restrict worker rights. Indiana’s Republican governor, Mitch Daniels, said he would not consider Democratic concerns about the bill until the lawmakers return.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

News

Mets mascot Mr. Met target of Bill Clinton…

Mets mascot Mr. Met has told how he ended up in the crosshairs of a Secret Service sniper rifle. The man behind the Mr. Met…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

NHL

Rangers draw first blood against Flyers in Game…

Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart to lead the Rangers to a 4-1 win.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.