Canadians decry WI anti-labor union law

Over a thousand protestors from Washington, Oregon and British Columbia have staged a rally on the Canada-US border to express their solidarity with labor unions in Wisconsin.

The rally organized by some major labor unions from three different states in North America, including the Washington State Labor Council, Oregon AFL-CIO and the BC Federation of Labor was held on Saturday at the Peace Arch border crossing in British Columbia, a Press TV correspondent in Vancouver reported.

Participants of the "International Solidarity" rally took issue with the mounting assault on labor unions in the US states of Wisconsin, where Governor Scott Walker sparked outrage recently by pressing ahead with his anti-union law that eliminates collective bargaining rights of over 200,000 workers.

Republicans in 37 US states are pushing to limit the bargaining rights of public workers as well as the ability of unions to collect dues.

Walker, who has been beset by mounting criticism over his plans to lay off thousands of public servants, has claimed that the budget bill would slash Wisconsin's structural deficit by 90 percent to $250 million.

During the rally, many Canadian protesters conjured up their economic hardships in British Columbia roughly six years ago, when Bill 29, a provincial bill, which allowed for the contracting out of health services, could have resulted in over 9,000 layoffs.

Hunted by the ghosts of the past, many Canadians are worried over the recent union-busting throughout the United States, and complain that they do not want the flu to spread further north.

"The attention on unions and what they do is at the highest level, probably in two or three decades. Folks understand what unions do and how important they are as a check to a corporate agenda," said Tom Chamberlain, president of the Oregon AFL-CIO.

Labor unions say such union busting measures are not needed to rein in the budget deficits, and the working class should not be punished for the recession while banks and other huge corporations get bailed out.

They feel it is especially unfair at this time as North Americans are facing deregulation and free-trade agreements that consistently transfer their jobs to cheaper labor zones.

Press TV, Sun Apr 3 2011

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