As state governments look for ways to cut spending and curb growing pension costs, unions fighting to turn the tide of public opinion and stop attempts to pare down wages, benefits and collective bargaining rights for public workers, the Wall Street Journal reports.Leaders of the American Federation of Government employees are asking members to increase their contributions to the organisation’s PAC fund. Meanwhile, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME, is devoting its political heft towards fighting plans to cut public worker compensation in states like New York and Ohio.
In Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott Walker has called for higher pension contributions and limits on collective bargaining, unions have launched major campaigns to lobby state lawmakers and the public against the proposal.
Despite recent backlash against government workers, public-sector unions still wield significant political clout. The unions, which boasted a combined membership of about 7.6 million workers last year, donated $20.5 million to political campaigns in the 2010 midterm election.
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