A man wears a cheese-wedge hat as he shouts outside...

A man wears a cheese-wedge hat as he shouts outside New Jersey's Statehouse in Trenton, N.J., while others in a large crowd wave signs as labor unions and supporters rally in support of Wisconsin workers locked in a battle over collective bargaining rights. (Feb. 25, 2011) Credit: AP

MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has formally notified state unions that he intends to lay off workers, but affected employees may not see the notice for at least two weeks.

Walker's spokesman Chris Schrimpf said Friday that the unions have been notified and more details will come soon. The governor had said Thursday that he would send the notices because a bill eliminating collective bargaining rights from workers has yet to pass.

Once the unions are notified, the layoffs could take effect in 30 days.

State departments will have a couple weeks to develop layoff plans. An e-mail obtained by The Associated Press from Walker's Department of Administration says no decisions on who would be laid off have been made.

Walker has been attempting to eliminate most collective bargaining rights for public workers, and 14 Senate Democrats who fled the state to prevent a vote on the measure entered a third week on the run in Illinois.

The governor is negotiating with the Democratic senators on possible changes that would get them to return, even as Senate Republicans passed a resolution finding them in contempt and authorizing police to detain them and force them back.

Meanwhile, Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Friday that he anticipates the Ohio Legislature will pass a tough bill restricting union activity by public workers and that he'll sign it into law with little fanfare, out of respect for the raw emotions surrounding the bill.

The measure - which still has to go through the GOP-led House - would limit the bargaining rights of roughly 350,000 teachers, firefighters, police officers and other public employees. They wouldn't be able to negotiate health care benefits or certain other working conditions.

"The day we sign it, it's not going to be some - you know, I don't anticipate some big deal because this is hard for people," Kasich told reporters at a separate bill-signing event. "And anything that's hard, I want to be respectful of other people's feelings, their thoughts and their emotions."

Unlike the similar legislation being debated in Wisconsin, Republicans in Ohio managed to move the bill quickly through the state Senate. The bill was narrowly approved Wednesday on a 17-16 vote.

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