MADISON, Wisconsin (Reuters) - Supporters of legislation to reduce public employee union bargaining power and benefits in Wisconsin were far outnumbered by opponents on Saturday, as the two sides shouted competing slogans but did not clash.
Tens of thousands have demonstrated throughout the week against Republican Governor Scott Walker's proposed legislation, which supporters say is needed to bring spending under control and opponents contend would break the back of state worker unions.
Wisconsin is the flashpoint for a U.S. struggle over efforts to roll back pay, benefits and bargaining rights of government workers. If the majority Republicans prevail, other states could be emboldened to take on the powerful unions.
Both sides drew thousands to the state capital Madison on Saturday -- unofficial estimates put the total near 40,000 -- but opponents appeared to have several times as many as those backed by Tea Party groups, the first appearance by members of the conservative, limited-government movement this week.
The bill's opponents marched counter-clockwise around the state Capitol, encircling the legislation's supporters and chanting "kill the bill."
The supporters countered with "Recall them all," referring to Democratic state senators who fled to Illinois to deny Republicans the quorum needed to consider the proposal.
If you're watching the TV news, you'd be under the impression that the Tea Party outnumbers the pro-union protesters and demonstrators by a lot.
You'd be wrong about that.
Breitbart and Joe the Plumber get the bigger press at FOX/Union-Busting News.
Maybe the next protests need to be at FOX/Union-Busting News.
Hard to ignore tens of thousands outside the Murdoch offices chanting "Kill The Bill! Kill The Bill!"