West Virginians Join in Rally to Support Wisconsin Workers

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- 'Save the American Dream' rallies could be heard across the nation Saturday, as thousands showed solidarity with workers in Wisconsin, who have been protesting for about two weeks.

Hundreds joined forces at the West Virginia state capitol to rally for labor rights.

“Nationwide we need to get started; workers sticking together. Union, non-union and the working class -- standing up for their rights,” Elijah Morris with the United Steelworkers said.

Many fear those rights are being threatened. It all started with a budget bill in Wisconsin that would increase benefit costs for public employees and curb their collective bargaining rights.

“It takes two at the collective bargaining table to reach an agreement,” John Vesenosky, a union advocate, said. “If the union honors their side of the agreement, then the other side should honor their commitments as well.”

“My father's first job was a welder in a steel mill, and he lost most of his first pension,” Amanda Sapienza, a rally attendee, said.

Worried that history could repeat itself; Sapienza is joining the movement and making her voice heard.

“When the people are pushed too far, then they will stand up to the one percent that owns 90 percent of everything else,” Jesse Johnson, event organizer/speaker, said.

While thousands continue to fight for labor rights, government officials, like Wisconsin’s Mayor, say there's just no money to negotiate with.

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