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Utah rally supports union workers in Wisconsin

By KSL.com | Posted - Feb. 26, 2011 at 4:00 p.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY — Several hundred protesters summoned by union organizers took to the steps of the state Capitol on Saturday to show their support for public employees in Wisconsin.

The event was part of a state-by-state network of rallies designed to voice opposition to Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker's recent legislation that would strip public workers of most collective bargaining rights as part of his effort to reduce a $137 million shortfall in the budget.

Wisconsin's Republican-controlled House passed the bill on Friday, but Democratic lawmakers have fled Wisconsin to stall the bill.


I'm afraid if this bill passes it will spread like wildfire. But what I know too is revolution spreads like wildfire. We hope to show our government that we have a voice, that they're our government, that they are here to work for us.

–Heidi Belka


"I'm afraid if this bill passes it will spread like wildfire. But what I know too is revolution spreads like wildfire," Heidi Belka said from Utah's Capitol steps. "We hope to show our government that we have a voice, that they're our government, that they are here to work for us.

Belka said her union membership helps her feel safe, represented and assured she will have a safe workplace.

Despite an absence of observers beyond the media at Saturday's event, retired public employee Tim Rice said the issues in Wisconsin are universal and apply to all workers. The rally helps show the Wisconsin issue is not isolated.

"People do like to address power with power. If it's one against many, your power is diminished," Rice said, adding that he would like to see collective bargaining for state employees in Utah.

"I'm afraid if this bill passes it will spread like wildfire. But what I know too is revolution spreads like wildfire," Heidi Belka said from Utah's Capitol steps. "We hope to show our government that we have a voice, that they're our government, that they are here to work for us.

Belka said her union membership helps her feel safe, represented and assured she will have a safe workplace.

Despite an absence of observers beyond the media at Saturday's event, retired public employee Tim Rice said the issues in Wisconsin are universal and apply to all workers. The rally helps show the Wisconsin issue is not isolated.

"People do like to address power with power. If it's one against many, your power is diminished," Rice said, adding that he would like to see collective bargaining for state employees in Utah.

Story compiled with contributions from Steve Fidel and The Associated Press.

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