Make that State Carpet Taupe or We’ll Have a Work Stoppage!! by Maureen Martin on March 9, 2011 I haven’t been able to figure out why state employees are so enraged at the possibility of having to contribute to their pensions and health care benefits. They took over the State Capitol in Wisconsin, eating, sleeping, and not showering there for many days and nights. They were banging on drums relentlessly, screaming obscenities at lawmakers and their staff, and blocking access to restrooms for all but their own. About 200 of them ganged up on one single Republican state senator until police could rescue him. Sure, the money’s important, but that important? What I didn’t realize is that it’s also about working conditions. Silly me. Some items subject to collective bargaining in Wisconsin, according to Governor Scott Walker’s office, include: Workers’ desks and chairs Their footrests The kind of carpeting and wall covering used in the workplace The number of windows Room temperature Paid time off to donate blood The size and location of union bulletin boards Now I get it. Serious issues are at stake!!