Union Protests Continue

By KBJR News 1

February 17, 2011 Updated Feb 17, 2011 at 8:41 PM CDT

Hundreds of protesters voiced their displeasure Thursday over the controversial bill proposed that would strip public employee unions of their ability to collectively bargain for things like wages, benefits, vacation and working conditions.

Protester Tom Wiberg said "And not once in my career have I seen an attack on the working men and women of this state then I have today."

The hundreds in Superior are joined by tens of thousands across the state who are holding similar rallies.

These workers and their supporters say they aren't fighting for increased wages or better benefits but rather a seat at the table.

UWS professor Joel Sipress said "We made it clear that we are ready to sit down negotiate and talk and work together cooperatively to find a solution to this budget problem to do our part but that has nothing to do with stripping us of the right to even be at the table and find those common solutions."

Perhaps the most poignant moment of the rally was poet laureate and U-W-S Professor Barton Sutter announcing that the modern workers movement has begun.

"Scott Walkers frontal assault on our wages benefits and the hard won fundamental rights to negotiate like grown ups is reigniting the workers movement that swept the Midwest a hundred years ago."

A vote on the controversial bill was scheduled for this afternoon, but every single democratic senator was absent from the vote preventing a quorum.

State Senator from Popular, Bob Jauch released a statement from an undisclosed location saying quote "I am joining my Senate Democratic colleagues to exercise our role to slow this process down and give citizens further opportunity to affect positive changes to this radical plan."

With today's turn of events at the Capitol, the state government is at a standstill with the absence of the democrats.

No work can continue without them.

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