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Crowds shout at politicians at Wausau Labor Day parade

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Union workers turn their backs on Representative Sean Duffy as he marches in the Wausau Labor Day Parade, September 5th, 2011
Union workers turn their backs on Representative Sean Duffy as he marches in the Wausau Labor Day Parade, September 5th, 2011

WAUSAU, Wis (WSAU) Two Republicans took advantage of the Marathon County Labor Council’s change of heart, and marched in yesterday’s Wausau Labor Day parade. Congressman Sean Duffy and state Senator Pam Galloway marched with dozens of supporters at the end of the procession. And they encountered union protestors who yelled “Shame, shame” while some on the other side screamed “Small government, Small government.” Some parade-goers turned their backs on the lawmakers, while chanting for a recall of Governor Scott Walker.

The Labor Council originally said it would ban Republican lawmakers from the Wausau parade, mainly because of their support of the state law that virtually eliminates collective bargaining for most public unions. But the group changed its mind after the mayor threatened to pull tax dollars for police and clean-up, and high school bands talked about withdrawing.

In Milwaukee, the crowd for yesterday’s Labor Day parade was smaller than last year when President Obama attended. But Bruce Colburn of the Service Employees’ International Union said it was still one of the biggest turnouts in years. He said it showed that people favored a Walker recall election next year. The group United Wisconsin was busy getting signatures of support for a recall. Official petitions cannot be circulated until November.

The governor stayed home on Labor Day, and his office issued a statement which praised Wisconsin’s employees. Walker said the workers are quote, “the single most valuable and important asset we have when attempting to attract and retain employers.” And the governor vowed to press forward with his plan to create a quarter-million new private sector jobs by 2015.

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