Durbin: Wisconsin workers shouldn't be 'badgered' by governor

One of the Senate's top Democrats has come out in support of Wisconsin workers protesting labor reforms by the state's governor.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), in a press statement released Thursday night, criticized Wisconsin GOP Gov. Scott Walker's labor reforms as a way of keeping workers from winning fair pay.

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“Workers across the country should have the right to stand together for fair compensation and a safe workplace," Durbin said. "Wisconsin’s teachers and state workers should not be badgered by a governor who refuses to sit down and work out a fair compromise.

“This time around, this Chicago Bears fan is rooting for Wisconsin and its workers,” Durbin continued.

At issue is a set of labor reforms that limit the bargaining rights of state workers and force them to contribute more money to state benefits and pension plans.

The reforms have sparked massive protests in the state capitol by Wisconsin's workers, and labor groups have vocally objected. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) compared the protests to those in Egypt, saying it was like "Cairo's moved to Madison."

Democrats in the State Legislature have left the state so that a quorum couldn't be called for a vote on the legislation.

On Thursday, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) sided with Walker.