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Poll: Americans Favor Collective Bargaining Rights for Unions

Most Americans don't agree with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Why won't he compromise?


The 2011 Wisconsin budget protests are heading into their third week and protesters continue to swarm the State Capitol in Madison in support of public employees' right to collective bargaining. Throughout the standoff with Governor Scott Walker, public employee unions, especially teachers unions, have been demonized as greedy and corrupt. So, where does the general public stand on Walker's demand that the unions pay more for health care and retirement, freeze salaries, and give up their collective bargaining rights?

According to a just-released NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, when it comes to states being able to ask their teachers, firefighters, garbage collectors and police to pay more for their retirement, 68 percent say it's acceptable. When it comes to paying more for health care, 63 percent say public employees should do so, and when it comes to the state being able to freeze salaries for a year, 58 percent agree.

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Steven Colbert and Teachers Union Head Randi Weingarten Skewer Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

Colbert weighs in on the Wisconsin protests with "the president of the American Federation of Teachers, Mullah Sheikh Omar Randi Weingarten."

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Teachers union head Randi Weingarten appeared on The Colbert Report last night to voice her support of Wisconsin's protesting public employees. What ensued was a subtle skewering of both Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's plans to end collective bargaining, and the anti teachers union sentiment that's swept the nation over the past two years.

Colbert poked fun at the ridiculous level of union vilification by introducing Weingarten as one of the "terrorist union leaders" that should be hunted down, adding, "Here for her last interview before she is renditioned to Guantanamo, please welcome, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, Mullah Sheikh Omar Randi Weingarten."

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