Union supporters rally in Hudson
About 500 union members and supporters rallied in Hudson Saturday morning in protest of Gov. Scott Walker's plan to strip public employee unions of most of their rights.
The gathering was organized by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Members of several other Minnesota and Wisconsin unions were also in attendance to voice their solidarity with Wisconsin's public employees. They included Teamsters, the AFL-CIO, the United Auto Workers, the United Steel Workers and the Wisconsin Education Association Council.
The sign-carrying crowd gathered at 10 a.m. on the Carmichael Road overpass of I-94. After an hour of showing their colors to passing motorists, they marched along Carmichael Road to the St. Croix County Government Center for a rally.
Many passing motorists horned their horns, or gave a thumbs-up sign, in support of the demonstrators. A few showed their disapproval.
A man in a car that stopped next to the demonstrators held a sign out the window saying: "Help wanted: teachers and senators. Attendance required."
The speakers at the rally included union leaders and Hudson High School history teacher Mike Yell. They emphasized that their main objection to Walker's "budget repair" bill isn't the requirement to pay for half their pensions and at least 12.6 percent of their health premiums, but the provisions stripping unions of their bargaining rights.
The union leaders said the bill is part of a Republican plan to weaken unions nationwide.