The debate over collective bargaining for public unions continues this week in Wisconsin, as protesters remain gathered in and around the capitol building after nearly two weeks, with some camping out around the clock. Law enforcement officers have refused to arrest protesters as long as they continue peacefully and don’t break the law. [See photos of the Wisconsin protests.]
Donors from around the country—and even around the world—are ordering pizza for the protesters to keep them going. Politico reports one pizza shop has taken calls from 14 countries and every U.S. state, all from people looking to give money for pizza. Some pizzas were ordered from Egypt, the site of several weeks of recent protests ending in the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, who had been president for more than 40 years. Protesters in Wisconsin are holding out in the hope that their own state’s leader might budge. [Read the U.S. News debate: Collective Bargaining Rights for Public Sector Unions?]
Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal would limit public union workers’ collective bargaining rights in an effort to close the state’s budget gap, but many critics say the effort is all politics. To avoid having to vote on the controversial bill, the state Senate’s Democrats are still hiding out in Illinois, where Wisconsin law enforcement can’t force them to come to work. Walker’s resolve seems as strong as ever, and the bill was passed last week through a surprise vote in the state’s Republican-controlled Assembly. [Read 10 things you didn't know about Scott Walker]
Union leaders have said they would agree to the concessions Walker is asking for if only he’d leave collective bargaining intact, but Walker said Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press he didn’t believe that kind of deal would hold across the state. “I know that collective bargaining has to be done in every jurisdiction,” he said. “[Statewide union leaders] can’t guarantee that.” Walker has called for the 14 state Senate Democrats to come home. “You’ve had your time,” he said.
What do you think? Should Walker take the deal, or should protesters and Senate Democrats give in? Take the poll and post your thoughts below.
Previously: Should the union protests in Wisconsin end now?