Labor groups plan rallies this week in NYC
Taking a page from the massive pro-labor protest gripping Wisconsin, at least two Gotham-based unions are planning rallies this week to discuss the city's budget.
A spokesman for the New York City Central Labor Council, which represents 1.3 million workers in the public and private sectors, said his group could rally as soon as Wednesday at City Hall to stand in solidarity with workers in Wisconsin. He added that DC 37, one of the city's largest unions, is also planning a rally.
Whether the gatherings can mirror the estimated 68,000 people who took over the Wisconsin Capitol over the weekend remains to be seen.
Republican Gov. Scott Walker said Monday he won’t compromise over a bill that would dissolve most of the collective bargaining rights for Wisconsin’s public employees in his effort to reverse a $3.6 billion budget deficit.
New York has nearly 2 million public and private unionized workers, the second most in the country, according to the latest federal stats. In the city, pension costs have jumped to $7 billion this year from $1.5 billion a decade ago, bloating the government’s budget, said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
He wants the state to allow the city to negotiate directly with unions over their retiree benefits.
“What is occurring in Wisconsin, where politicians are using the fiscal crisis as a weapon to destroy organized labor, will occur in 49 other states,” warned New York City Central Labor Council President Jack Ahern in a statement.