BOSTON (AP) — Throngs of union supporters were jamming Beacon Street in front of the Massachusetts Statehouse to show solidarity with public employees in Wisconsin.

Protesters at the Tuesday rally held up signs that read “Stand Up for Wisconsin Workers” and “We Stand with Wisconsin Teachers.” The group listened to union leaders and elected officials including several members of Congress.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports.

The crowds were met with a smaller, but equally vocal number of anti-union activists, including tea party members, who held up their own signs reading “No Unions for Public Employees” and “Pro-Teacher, Pro-Student, Anti-Union.”

The protest grew tense at times as both sides shouted at each other.

The protest was one of several nationally to oppose Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to strip some public employees of most of their bargaining rights.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong went to Arlington where the town is facing its own budget crisis.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (13)
  1. taxedout says:

    Meanwhile the people who have 2 jobs that support these over paid fools who show up on their Time Off i’m assuming are desperate Bigtime to hold on to all the goodies that me and you pay for!!!!! We are coming for you, time to get off the Gravy Train!!!!

    1. Jason Harrington says:

      These moves will cut into an already shrinking middle class, that fuels the economy. With more tax breaks for the rich and the poor, the country will trend even more towards the haves and the have nots. The union members want to negotiate but the governor wants no part.

    2. Kathy Dole Meltsakos says:

      Dear taxedout,
      I feel the need to adress your comment, because I am an educator & a union member who did attend this rally. I make $10.75 per hour, and do not think I am overpaid, especially knowing that I don’t even make a “Living wage” I don’t work to occupy my day, I need this money & work very hard for it, most days working an hour or more then what I’m getting paid for. I am a dedicated worker who wants to help educate our children. Yes, I had time off this week, but it is UNPAID time off. Let me ask you this, would you change a teenager (male & female) after they have soiled themselves for $10.75 an hour? I do hope you are seeing that it’s real people, not “over paid fools who show up on their Time Off”, it’s the person living next door, those who want job security, health insurance and a voice at the bargaining table. Please do your homework and find out more about the people who are the actual members of these unions, before making public comments!

  2. Sandy says:

    The whole Wisconsin anti-union protest is being financed by the Koch Bros and their millions!! They want to bust the unions there and across the country. They want to go back to the 1920’s when the bosses had all the power and the workers had none!! Open your eyes–and support the working people of this country!!

  3. emom says:

    Honestly ,,,,, does anyone ever really listen to them selves,,, are you kidding,,, every time I hear a story about a union going on strike I crinch,,,, what are we fools, if you have to strike, YOU LOOSE, money every day you are on the picket line, thats another meal you cant make your children, its another months rent or morgage you can pay, its an oil, gas, electric bill you cant pay, its medical you dont have, it your livlyhood that gets lost why all because unions want your MONEY,, and if they cant get it they make you strike, who is controling who,,, You are not incontrol of your livelyhood, its them,, gee whos the boss, the union, why is it the union tells all what to do and everyone jumps over the bridge to pelease them,, what is it a cult of money hungry leachs,, sorry have no simpathy for the union, If they indeed cared about what matters, why strike, why not sit down talk out the issues, colaborate with the ones that matter you the worksers.. no they make the rules, and the decissions, and you as a worker have to suffer if it does not go their way.. I do not understand why anyone would give up life to only end up poorer than what you started with,, I barely make it and its all because of stupidity of the governement,, oh wait I think the governement is the same as a uinion leader, great that really explains why this state is in such a crisis of a mess..

    1. Kathy Dole Meltsakos says:

      PLEASE read my response to taxedout and I would also like to inform you that educators are forbidden by law, to strike!

  4. Jason Harrington says:

    Why is it that the snakes on Wall Street are getting a pass? Aren’t we in this economic down turn due to greedy bankers, motgage companies and deregulations? Why is it that we are taking it out the hide of the working class? What if we didn’t have pay out all of those bonuses to the bailed out banks? If your company goes belly up and totally disrupts the economy do you really deserve a bounus? We were forced to pay out that, but when it comes to state employees we should take away their right to a bargain. Our perspectives are out of whack. We are stepping over a dollar to pick up a nickel.

    1. hockeyfan says:

      No, we are in the economic downturn because Barney Frank and the rest of the Democratic led banking committee demanded that mortgage companies give loans to people who were not qualified to get them. When the people couldn’t afford to pay them back, the mortgage companies lost tons of money which affected loans for other people and companies, and the dominoes fell from there. It had nothing to do with “greed”.

  5. emom says:

    You know I often wonder, If the union would totally loose their collective bargaining if the workers totally striked against the UINION LEADERS.. I mean , they basically force the union workers to strike against the company ,. tell them since the UNION LEADERS, have not readched a rational comprimise that the workers will have to strike to make a point,,, ahhh wait, hold on, after all that , who is the one looking for changes, more money , better healt benifits, more vacation time, better working conditions, I mean, was it an overall consenses of the workers that they felt there was no other choice but to have all strike.. Or was it more the union leaders looking for more MONEY , more benifits , more collective bargaining over the works.. I never see a union leader get off their duffs and walk the picket lines, they are not out there holding signs, they are the ones calling all the shots, dictating to the workers on what to do, honestly are people that foolish,,, UNIONS cause most of the problems, they cause families to suffer and in the end loose their livelyhiood all because the union leaders want a larger paycheck for getting the works better what evers,, BUT ask yourslef,, in the end did you truely even gain any better,, did you gain more money, better benifits, DID YOU ,,, I THOUGHT SO ,,, YOU DIDNT AND SO NOW YOU SUFFER FOR THE DAYS YOU HAD TO STRIKE WITH OUT A PAYCHECK,,, HOW PROUD ARE YOU OVER THAT…. strike against the union give it back to them make them suffer,

  6. Carolyn A. Sawyer, Danvers MA says:

    Salary and healthcare are only two elements of collective bargaining for teachers. Over the last two decades, local teacher unions have worked diligently on important conditions such as class size, how many different preparations a teacher is required to teach, additional duties, preparation time. These are issues that can determine if a teacher can really do her job and not burn out. In this day when the stakes are so high for our children to achieve, how can we afford to lose so m uch that has truly helped both teachers and children? Now that there is no limit on what corporations can contribute to political campaigns, what chance do the rest of us have for our voices to be heard? How can poeple not see that? The Wisconsion Governor could have tried to sit at the table to collaborate with the teachers to come to an agreement and plan for them to pay a more realistic share of their pensions and health care? The current teacher contribution to Mass. retirement is 11.5%, and most teachers across the state pay at least 40% toward health insurance.
    I am a career educator, and I know I have made a difference in the lives of children. Teachers are not the ones abusing the public confidence. Every time public employees get bad press, like the unbelievable “sick day perk” of the Massport workers, then teachers become part of the whole corrupt and privileged image the taxpayers perceive. Please try to report on more of what collective bargaining means for education. In tough economic times, the teaching profession is even more important, yet is becoming a target for frustrated people and wealthy billionaires who will never have to worry about being fired for no cause, or will never worry about health care for themselves.Can you see how this could play out at the locak level, when teachers could be hired or fired at the whim of a school committee that iselected by the community, and is not required to be trained in education policy?

  7. CEO says:

    Government workers that belong to a union should try working in the private sector if they don’t like the deal they have now. It’s that simple. If things are so tough for you, quit your job and come join the rest of us! But be prepared to take a cut in pay and pay a higher percentage of your beneifts. You also have to show up for work every day and do your job or risk being fired without any appeals, filing of grievances, etc. You’ll probably have to work until you’re 65 or so rather than retiring at 50 will a generous pension and health care coverage for life.

    Let us know what you decide!

  8. DStein says:

    Yeah, you gotta love those teachers in Wisconsin that got bogus doctor’s notes so they could abandon their students to do dirty union business!

    They keep saying they’re “doing it for the children”. I’d like to know how the children benefit from absentee teachers. Or what sacrifice the students will have to make because their teacher now has to pay 5.8% of their retirement and 12% of their health care bill. How exactly does that help or hurt students in the classroom?

    Seems these Wisconsin teachers, like a lot of other union members, would rather see a bunch of the peers layed off rather than start contributing to their beneifts packages like the rest of us. The words selfish and greedy come to mind.

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