WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), dean of the Massachusetts congressional delegation, released the following statement in response to the workers in the Midwest who are protesting against proposals to strip public employees of their collective bargaining rights and make cuts to their benefits:

What’s happening in the Midwest is raw power politics masquerading as a budget issue.
“Republican governors in the Midwest are trying to use a financial crisis caused by Wall Street to strip state workers of the benefits they’ve earned. Our workers should not have to bear the brunt of budget cuts. We cannot let Republicans use the budget as a smokescreen to exploit public employees.
“Republicans have an historic antipathy for unions. GOP used to stand for Grand Old Party.  Now it stands for “Gut Our Pensions”.
“The firefighter running into a burning building, the police officer responding to shots fired, the teacher reading to 3rd graders in a crumbling classroom – they didn’t cause the financial problems in the Midwest.
“I stand with the workers and their families in the Midwest and support their efforts to keep collective bargaining rights. I stand in solidarity to send the message that we’re not going to back down in the face of this latest Republican assault on the labor movement.