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Photo: AZPM

Michael Coiro, executive director of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), and Jonathan Paton, a former state senator, discuss the current debate over unions.

The nation has turned its attention to Wisconsin and the ongoing labor dispute aggravated by that state's budget crisis. But with similar budget woes at work in Arizona, many local residents might wonder if the Wisconsin controversy--and its lessons--can apply to our own backyard.

Michael Coiro, executive director of the local American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and former state senator Jonathan Paton join the Arizona Illustrated studio to talk about the newly ignited national conversation over unions. They discuss Wisconsin affairs and how they differ from issues in Arizona, a right-to-work state. They also spell out the differences between public and private unions, the pension system and the issue of collective bargaining, and discuss Arizona bills under consideration now that would limit unions' right to protest and privatize some government operations.

Kimberly Craft interviews Jonathan Paton, a former AZ Senator, and Michael Coiro, Executive Director of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).