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Idaho passes Republican bill to slash union rights

by Adam Russett on March 9, 2011

In a move that may be the envy of Wisconsin's Governor Scott Walker, Idaho state legislature has managed to pass a bill that strips teachers of many of their collective bargaining rights, according to Reuters.

This new law is sure to stand out among the other states that are employing similar tactics. Now, the 12,000 public school teachers in the state will be unable to attain tenure and seniority will no longer be a considered factor when it comes to layoffs. Teacher labor contracts are also limited to one year.

While Republicans have reiterated that these new measures must be implemented in order to cut state deficits, Democrats and union parties have both said that the regulations are an attack on the rights of organized labor.

Indiana and Wisconsin have attracted massive protests about potential union-based legislation. Currently, Democrats from both states have crossed the border in order to stymie the attempts to pass the bills.

House Democrats from Indiana even held a mock funeral for the middle class of America.

Ohio Governor John Kasich is pushing for an identical bill.

"Frankly, folks, the provisions of collective bargaining reform are examples of what we want to do to allow people to control their costs," he said, according to the news provider.

Many have viewed the bills as nothing more than a partisan attack on unions, which were instrumental in bringing Obama to victory in the 2008 elections. Opponents of the bill have pointed to the fact that while Governor Scott Walker has stressed the need to balance the budget, he has already spent $117 million in tax breaks for Republican business allies and now it seems that unions will be picking up the tab, according to The Fond du Lac Reporter.

A New York Times / CBS News poll has found that Americans oppose stripping unions of their collective bargaining rights by 60 to 33 percent.

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