Monday, September 26, 2011

Nurses On Strike and Wall Street Occupation

Nurses Demanding
Sick Time in Oakland
The California Nurses Association planned a one-day strike for Thursday September 22nd to protest understaffing and a proposal from Sutter Medical that nurses no longer be given paid sick time. I can't even begin to compete verbally with an irony like this one. AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka addressed their rally. While Kaiser let the nurses return to work Friday, Sutter Health claimed that their contracted "replacement workers," i.e. scabs, required a full week of work. Cosequently they locked out employees for that period, an action that was clearly intended as a punitive measure.

Under the watch of the scab nurses a patient died. Now, death happens quite a bit in hospitals, in spite of the best of care. The possiblilty of negligence exists as well, even for union workers. But this death has become a political football. The now unabashedly, right-wing San Francisco Chronicle implies that those nasty nurses left their posts. But it is more likely that vindictive management hired incompetent (and amoral) nurses to fill in for the locked out ones!

In other news the Wall Street occupation continues in spite of the mass arrests and sadistic, unwarranted use of mace and pepper spray. It's so good to see large numbers of young folks out in the streets again. Nurses and occupiers, keep on keepin' on. Your success is our success.