BROOKLYN, Ohio - When Republicans in the Ohio legislature passed Senate Bill 5, designed to wipe out public workers' pensions, in 2011, it was personal for young Marc Bukszar.
The nation's politicians, from the federal government on down to city halls, are hypocritical in praising Fire Fighters and other first responders, then cutting public safety budgets.
Striking Bay Area Rapid Transit workers and Oakland city workers protested what they said were management's refusal to increase wages and demands for givebacks, despite rising revenues.
City workers gathered in front of City Hall April 2 with a message for City Council members starting to discuss a new two-year budget.
Right-wing federal lawmaker are backing up state government attacks on state and local workers' pensions through a measure that, if passed, would make the pensions virtually unaffordable.
"They want to take away your right to support your union. They don't want us to be here."
Reports showing union membership at an all-time low are of enormous concern at a gathering of the nation's labor leaders. Members of the AFL-CIO executive council see it tied to attacks on democratic rights.
Before the $85 billion budget cut time bomb explodes, leaders of the nation's unions are hammering out details of a program to prevent job losses and restore the economy for the working-class majority.
Disregarding a move by Michigan's GOP governor to take the issue straight to the state Supreme Court, Michigan unions sued to overturn the state's "right to work" law affecting private sector workers.
Gov. Pat Quinn sugarcoated an attack on public workers with a host of progressive policy proposals.