The Madeleine Brand Show

The Madeleine Brand Show is a daily, two-hour program that looks at news and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by Madeleine Brand

Unions at a crossroads... and in the crosshairs: is collective bargaining on its way out?

by The Madeleine Brand Show

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A protester outside the Wisconsin State Capitol February 22, 2011. With state Democrats still in hiding over the legislation proposed by the Governor to restrict collective bargaining for public workers, Republicans threatened to move on without them. Eric Thayer/Getty Images

Across the country unions are facing public and budget scrutiny. In Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Tennessee, Republican lawmakers have threatened to strip public unions of collective bargaining and dues-collecting powers. And debate has been raging in California over high retiree benefits for public employees. Meanwhile, street protests supporting union workers continue in Madison and beyond. Is this the last gasp of union power? Or will collective bargaining return in better budget times? UC Berkeley's Harley Shaiken tells us this moment could quickly become a turning point in the history of organized labor.

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