Wisconsin Showdown Sparks Copycat Protests In Unlikely State Capitals

idaho protests

Photo: Courtesy of KTVB.com

The political standoff in Wisconsin has subsided, at least for the moment. But the battle of Madison has sparked a national battle between union supporters and state lawmakers looking to limit collective bargaining rights.Even in right-to-work states like Idaho and Tennessee, public-sector unions are taking a page out of the Wisconsin playbook and holding mass demonstrations against legislation that would curb union power.

In Idaho, hundreds of union supporters formed a human chain around the state Capitol in Boise last week to protest a bill that would limit collective bargaining and end tenure for teachers, according to the AP. Students across the state staged walkouts against the bill, which has been approved by the state legislature.

Idaho’s union leaders conceded, however, that the protests were probably futile – the collective bargaining measure is on its way to Republican Gov. Butch Otter, who is expected to sign it post haste.

In Tennessee, more than 3,000 people descended on downtown Nashville Saturday to demonstrate against legislation that would strip teachers of their collective bargaining rights. Teachers are some of the only public employees in Tennessee that hold legal collective bargaining rights.

Proposals to limit union power have been introduced in 18 states, according to Reuters. In Kansas, the state House has passed a bill that would make it illegal for employers to make payroll deductions for union dues  and political action committees.

Legislation is also being considered in Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Washington, Alaska and Arizona.

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