Pa. Unions Rally in Support of Wisconsin Workers

About 1,000 people turned out in downtown Philly Thursday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Wisconsin's Reps, Sandy Pasch, left, D-Milwuakee, Chris Danou, Trempealeau, Tamara Grigsby, D-Milwaukee, Donna Seidel, D-Wausau, Amy Sue Vruwink, D-Milladore, and Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse all cheer on the crowd on the fourth day of large scale protests at the State Capitol in Madison, Wis., Friday, Feb. 18, 2011. Union members, students and others have been protesting the governor's bill to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

    About 1,000 members and supporters of Pennsylvania labor unions turned out in downtown Philadelphia in a show of solidarity for Wisconsin's embattled public workers.

    Teachers, health care workers, police and firefighters, building trade workers, elected officials and union leadership waved signs and chanted “we are one” at the lunchtime rally Thursday adjacent to City Hall.

    The message repeated by nearly a dozen speakers was that Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker's plan to strip public employees of the right to negotiate benefits was a deliberate attempt to destroy the middle class.

    Pete Matthews, president of the Philadelphia's largest municipal union, said that unions are being blamed for problems caused by Wall Street executives. He called the struggle in Wisconsin a “class war” that hurt all working people if nothing’s done to stop it.