A Small Detail Behind Wisconsin Protests Illustrates Why Big Change is Needed

Wendy Lynch

A doctor’s excuse is normally a harmless slip of paper. But in the heated debate over public bargaining rights in Wisconsin, it is a clear illustration of just how disconnected workers can be from the very cause for which they are fighting.

It’s a dramatic scene.  The Wisconsin legislative process has all but ground to a halt as democratic lawmakers actually fled to a nearby state and thousands of state workers picket and protest in defense of their right to bargain collectively.  The Governor insists that the state has insufficient funds to support union demands and wants unions eliminated or severely restricted.  The unions, in return, insist that they will negotiate in good faith to help with the budget crisis, and that they will be prudent with tax-payer money while times are hard.

Buried in coverage of the political theatrics, an interesting detail caught my attention:  Doctor’s notes for protesters spark controversy.

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