SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Wisconsin's Governor is trying to cut the state's budget but the way he's trying to do it is stirring protest across the country, including here in Western Massachusetts.
Union members and even those not in unions said what's going on in Wisconsin is threatening what unions worked to gain more than 70 years ago.
Hundreds gathered on the steps of Springfield city hall to stand together in support of unions.
That's because the Governor of Wisconsin wants to pass a bill cutting collective bargaining rights for most public employees in an attempt to balance the budget.
Now the fear is that this could destroy unions. Colleen Johnston isn't in a union; she's just a student, but the protests going on in Wisconsin hits close to home. "I'm from Wisconsin, I know the people involved in this campaign and I just want to show my support and solidarity for the people that really helped shape my own life and education and really the main reason I'm here at Smith today," said Johnston.
Union rights are not being sacrificed in Massachusetts directly, but the fear is that it could.
Dan Clawson is a member of the Massachusetts Teachers Association he said, "It's not about money any longer, it's about trying to bust unions and that's all it's about and the Wisconsin governor even explicitly exempted the only two unions that supported his reelection the law doesn't apply to those unions."
Susan Triolo is an elementary school teacher she said, "They refused to give up their collective bargaining rights as will all union people across the country, we need to stand strong.
But there were some union members who were in support of this bill, but that crowd was much smaller with only around 30 people.
Jack Cascio is a member of the United Auto Workers and also the Tea Party, he said he doesn't want to pay for other's pensions or healthcare. "It's difficult enough for me to afford mine; I don't want to pay theirs."
There are still dozens of rallies planned throughout the country through the rest of the week.