Union banning on the horizon?

UPDATED: February 21 at 12:34 p.m.

Tracy Adman from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union in Chicago, traveled to Wisconsin to join the protest over Governor Scott Walker's plan to strip most public employees of collective bargaining rights, an idea she's concerned could spread to other states.

Adman said, "I believe that firefighters and teachers and correctional officers and nurses are entitled to have a good standard of living."

Fourteen Democratic Wisconsin state senators went into hiding, some of them coming down to Illinois, blocking action on the Republican bill because there wasn't a quorum in the Senate. Assembly Republicans have delayed a vote until Tuesday at the earliest.

Information courtesy of Illinois News Connection.


Iowa is a "Right to Work State" where public employees have the right to negotiate collectively through representatives of their own choosing. This means they can form and join unions.

We're all familiar now with Roquette America's situation in Keokuk, Iowa where the Local 48G union is still in negotiations with Roquette to get their union members back to work.

Now Wisconsin looks to pass a historic ban on unions, which is a dramatic move since the state "passed a comprehensive collective bargaining law in 1959 and was the birthplace of the national union representing all non-federal public employees." Read more from the Kansas City Star online.

Thousands of teachers and state workers in Wisconsin have been told that proposed legislation would eliminate collective bargaining rights and make public workers pay half the costs of their pensions and at least 12.6 percent of their health care coverage.

This legislation has made people very angry and approximately 10,000 demonstrators took to the Wisconsin Capitol to make their opinion known. Tensions are running high.

Because this could be the start of something very big, KHQA is going to keep developing this story. We've put a few phone calls out to some local union representatives to see if anyone has an opinion on this issue.

States around the country are facing tough budget decisions " just as we are here in Washington. But what does it say about our priorities when we pass tax cuts for the wealthiest, yet ask public employees who are already being stretched thin to give even more? These are our nation TMs teachers and caregivers " people our families rely on each day who are living within their means. Yet, those in the upper income bracket are not being asked to sacrifice anything. That TMs unfair.

In Wisconsin, public servants are being scapegoated and budget cuts are being used as an excuse to undermine workers' rights. That TMs no way to go about building consensus and it TMs no way to treat American workers.

- Statement issued by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee

We will bring you more details, so check this story later and watch KHQA's News at Five, KHQA's Evening News at 6 p.m. and KHQA's Late News at 10 p.m.