TRENTON - Despite the stormy weather, public workers and union sympathizers held a unity rally at the Statehouse today in support of Wisconsin state workers who are protesting a move to severely curtail their collective bargaining rights.

The rally was hosted by the AFL-CIO. New Jersey AFL-CIO president Charles Wowkanech says labor leaders view Wisconsin as ground zero in their fight to preserve collective bargaining.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says he wants to end nearly all bargaining with public employee unions to help balance the state budget.

In the Garden State, Gov. Chris Christie has proposed raising the retirement age and requiring public workers to pay more for pension and health benefits. But the Republican says he supports "responsible" collective bargaining.

AP wire services contributed to this report.