In union strongholds, residents wrestle with cuts - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

In union strongholds, residents wrestle with cuts


RACINE (AP) -- The push by Republican governors and lawmakers to curb union benefits and bargaining powers comes after years of declining union membership in states. And it's dividing residents of even some of the most traditional union strongholds.

The union proposals by governors in Wisconsin and Ohio are the hot topics of discussion in places such as Racine, Wis., and Toledo, Ohio -- two Midwestern manufacturing cities where unions have long flourished. Although many still back the unions, others are siding with the Republican governors.

National polls show the public's opinion of unions has shrunk to near historic lows in recent years. But surveys also show public opposition to attempts to weaken collective bargaining rights. For unions, the political standoffs could represent a make or break moment for their future.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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