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Republicans challenging unions in state capitols

posted Feb 21, 2011, 11:13 AM by Unknown user

| By DAVID A. LIEB and SAM HANANEL | Associated Press | Fri, Feb. 18, 2011 |

…. Among union leaders, a sense of crisis is growing. Labor is preparing to spend at least $30 million to fight anti-union legislation in dozens of states, according to internal budget numbers reviewed by The Associated Press. They're lobbying local officials, organizing public rallies, working phone banks and buying television and newspaper ads in a desperate attempt to swing public opinion. "Plans are being put into place to silence workers, lower their wages, cut their benefits and increase the likelihood that they will suffer injuries and fatalities at work," said Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. "It is happening at a breakneck pace and too little attention is being paid." Labor plans to spend large amounts of money on battles in Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Missouri, New Hampshire, Maine, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.