Public Employee Union Protests Spread From Wisconsin to Ohio
By Mark Niquette
In what union leaders say is becoming a national fight, protests against legislation to restrict public employees’ collective-bargaining rights spread from Wisconsin to Ohio.
In Madison, Wisconsin, crowds that police estimated at 25,000 engulfed the Capitol and its lawns yesterday during a third-straight day of protests as Democratic senators boycotted the legislative session. In Columbus, Ohio, about 3,800 state workers, teachers and other public employees came to the statehouse for a committee hearing.
Firefighters Dave Hefflinger and Jerry Greer stood near hundreds of workers elbow-to-elbow in the Ohio statehouse atrium and listened to the Senate hearing through speakers. Chants of “Kill the bill” echoed.
“We’re here to support our brothers and sisters,” Hefflinger, a 27-year veteran, said in an interview. “They’re trying to take away what we fought for all of these years.”