Hundreds turned out in Center City Philadelphia to rally in support of unions in Wisconsin.
Local unions believe the Midwest is a test of the strength of organized labor nationwide.
Representatives of just about every major union in Philadelphia turned out for the rally. Pat Eiding, head of the AFL-CIO in Philadelphia, says unions will help solve budget problems, but need to do it collectively.
“They aren’t trying to balance the budget they are trying to destroy collective bargaining,” said Eiding “They are trying to destroy the only thing we have from being poor to being the middle class.”
Activist Pedro Rodriguez says the issue should bring the union movement into a boil nationwide. “This is a struggle that goes deeper into the fundamentals of who we are as Americans, who we are as a nation and who we are as a people,” he said.
Congressman Bob Brady says lawmakers in Wisconsin are actually helping unions.
“Let me tell you where they are miscalculating, they are miscalculating what they are doing is they have put all labor together out in Wisconsin they are as united as they can be I’ve talked to them out there,” said Brady.
William Gault of the firefighters union says this could happen here. “We’re with you Wisconsin because you know it’s just going to travel East and that moron in New Jersey they knew what they were getting into, they are supposed to have ideas. What’s their ideas, kill us?”
Union members at the rally are even talking about making a pilgrimage to the Wisconsin in a show of support.