Hundreds of people filled the state capitol Tuesday afternoon to say they'll fight any efforts to curb the strength of organized labor like those being debated in Wisconsin.
At the rally, Gov. Mark Dayton said he would stop right-to-work legislation and other measures.
"There's no need for drastic action in Minnesota. There's no justification for drastic action in Minnesota," he said. "And you're here today, to say with me, to say with your legislators who are here, to say with your Congressmen and women, who are here, to say with your mayors who are here, that standing together, we will not let Minnesota become Wisconsin."
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, has proposed workers pay higher health insurance and pension costs or he'll be forced to lay off thousands.
The rally was organized by the AFL-CIO and featured speakers from member unions like the International Assocation of Fire Fighters, AFSCME, Education Minnesota and the Minnesota Nurses Association.
Labor leaders, like AFSCME representative Yvette Young, who works for Minnesota's Department of Health, spent more than an hour calling for Minnesotans to express their support for unionized public workers in Wisconsin.
"We all know it's not about the wages and and how much they'll have us pay for health care and pensions," she said. "It's about human rights. And the right to bargain for a better life for our families. Make no mistake, Gov. Walker wants to destroy unions; he'd rather dictate than negotiate."
Kathryn Mitchell, a grad student at the University of Minnesota and a mental health worker at an autism day treatment program in Minneapolis, said public sector employees were not the cause of the state's financial woes.
"As someone state, we wake up every day, we go to work. We work our butts off," she said.