Labor Groups Protest in Support of Wisconsin Workers at the State House 

Labor groups converged on the State Capitol in Augusta Saturday afternoon in support of Wisconsin workers.The rally was one of many that were held across the United States.They came to the State Capitol braving the frigid temperatures for worker rights.Waving signs that said “Wisconsin Maine Stands by You,” the demonstrators took to the steps in support of Wisconsin workers.On Friday, Wisconsin’s state Assembly approved Republican Governor Scott Walker’s proposal to cut public sector unions of most collective bargaining rights.These protestors believe it will weaken the labor movement.Patty Kenny is a former teacher and union worker who came to Augusta from Old Town.”Unions created the middle class I firmly believe that I think our history proves that and to give up collective bargaining is to risk losing the middle class,” she said standing in the crowd wearing a sandwich board with facts about Governor Walker.Joining them was State Representative Diane Russell who most recently traveled to Wisconsin to protest the bill.”You know how cold it is right now, my toes are frozen those people have been there day after day after day and they will be there,” Russell told the crowd of more than one hundred people.Russell says she fears Governor LePage will make similar cuts in his efforts to change labor reform, but others like Liz Walker disagree.”He’s not trying to put people out of work, he’s not trying to take people’s jobs he’s trying to do a good as he calls it bipartisan budget,” she said.She participated in a counterprotest to show support for Governor Walker.No matter which side of the issue they stood, these citizens practiced their First Amendment right, “Freedom of Speech.”