Public Sector Unions

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is pushing to strip collective-bargaining rights from most unionized public-sector employees in the state. He says it's necessary in order to cut the state's deficit. Other politicians across the United States say they support his efforts and would like to see them put in place in their states. And now public-sector unions in Canada fear they could be the next target. We wade into the debate over whether public-sector unions need to be reigned in.

Today's guest host was Piya Chattopadhyay.


It's Friday, March 4th.

The House of Dior fired chief designer John Galliano for hurling anti-semitic insults at a Jewish couple in Paris.

Currently, Galliano is expected to undergo sensitivity counseling so he can get back to work, making women of all races and religions feel ashamed of their bodies.

This is The Current.

Public Sector Unions - Panel

We started this segment with what it sounds like at Wisconsin's State Capital building these days. Governor Scott Walker's proposed budget bill has prompted huge protests from public sector union workers. And Governor Walker says he will start issuing layoff notices to state workers today if his bill taking away collective bargaining rights from public sector unions isn't passed.

Governor Walker's fight with Wisconsin's public sector unions has sparked a heated debate all over the United States. And it has Canadian unions taking note as well. Margot Young is a researcher with the Canadian Union of Public Employees or CUPE. She was part of a delegation that went to Wisconsin to support the public sector unions there.

Financial constraints, budget battles and elections are looming in several provinces and municipalities across Canada. And some say it's time to try a Wisconsin-style approach to balancing government books. But others say that targeting public sector unions is the wrong approach.

For both sides of that debate, we were joined by two guests. Kevin Gaudet is with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. He was in Toronto. And Marie Clarke Walker is the Executive Vice President of the Canadian Labour Congress. She was in Toronto as well.

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