KOCH Industries and its employees and subsidiaries spent 1,2m in the previous election helping to elect US Republican governors who are now trying to take away bargaining rights of state workers, it has emerged.

Republicans Scott Walker of Wisconsin and John Kasich of Ohio, who won election last November with Koch support, are pushing to limit the ability of public-employee unions to negotiate for salaries and benefits. At the talks on Tuesday, Senate Democrats in Wisconsin walked out in protest, preventing a quorum in the Republican-controlled chamber. Protests in Ohio and Wisconsin spread this week and unions planned more rallies, vigils and press conferences in about 27 states.

"This is a very well-financed, co -ordinated assault on labour unions," said Craig Holman, a lobbyist for the Washington-based advocacy group Public Citizen. Bloomberg