Thousands of Wisconsin union members workers traveled from around the state to the capital, Madison, on Saturday to demonstrate against the impending adoption of a law that would ban private sector workers from being required to join a union or pay dues.
The bill, which was approved by the Republican-led state senate on Feb. 25, would make Wisconsin the 25th state to adopt a so-called “right-to-work” law. It is supported by Governor Scott Walker, a potential Republican presidential candidate. The state assembly is expected to vote on the measure within a week, and it will take effect once Walker signs it.
A public hearing on the bill is scheduled for Monday at the Wisconsin state assembly, which is also controlled by Republicans.
About 5,000 people gathered at Saturday’s rally, organized by the the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, at the state capitol building despite below-freezing temperatures. The protesters waved U.S. flags, rang cow bells and chanted, “This is what democracy looks like.” Many held signs denouncing the bill, some reading: “Right to Work for Less” and “Right to Lose Wages.”