Tuesday Feb 22, 201107:40 PM GMT
'Americans inspired by Mideast protesters'
Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:40PM
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Anti-government protests in the Middle East have inspired American protesters who oppose a bill that would seek to limit union power, says Jennifer Loewenstein from University of Wisconsin, Madison.

 

"I think the protests in the Middle East have inspired people here enormously more than that people can realize," she told Press TV's U.S. Desk.

 

Union and labor protesters have taken on to streets in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana to protest a bill which seeks to end collective bargaining for public employees. The protests are expected to be spread to other cities as well.

 

Loewenstein said lots of what's happening in the United States is "on a state level" but the continuation of the protests could force Obama to "intervene," other wise she added the protesters could get "angry."

 

FACTS & FIGURES

 

States face deficits that may reach a combined $125 billion in the next fiscal year, and Republican governors, including Wisconsin's Scott Walker, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and New Jersey's Chris Christie, arae trying to change rules for collective bargaining and worker contributions for health care and pensions. The Province

 

Under the Wisconsin's governor's bill, state workers must increase contributions to their pensions to 5.8 percent of salary, and double contributions to their health insurance premiums to 12.6 percent. This would result in a cut in take-home pay of about 8 percent. Reuters

 

The budget battle in the U.S. state of Wisconsin brought tens of thousands of protesters on to the streets eight days ago (February 15). Independent

 

Protests by government workers in Wisconsin and other states will multiply, a union spokesman said. The Province

 

Critics say the bill is an attack on working-class America thinly veiled as an attempt to balance the budget. Vindy

 

ARA/KA/MMN

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