Has Anyone Worked A Strike? - page 5

Just wondering what it is like. Anybody have anything to say about the specific companies?... Read More

  1. by   SandyB
    I have not worked a strike. I might if I knew the nurses wanted "scabs". Some do..I did stop and talk w/nurses on a picket line at a hospital near me...they were not upset w/the nurses who came in to take their places for a few days...it allowed them to be out w/signs alerting their community to what was going on in the local hospital
    If the staff nurses didn't want me there tho, I would not cross the line.
    Guess it depends on each situation.
  2. by   mash406rn
    I've not met anyone on our picket line, glad to have the "scabs" .
    They prolong our strike and allow the administration to continue to try to "bust" the union. Our administration refuses to come to the table since we walked out on Nov 14. If there were no scabs, they would have to talk.
  3. by   jlc
    I would never cross a picket line. The nurses who are on strike are there to protect their patients. They are tired of working long shifts short handed, mandatory overtime with little compensation, carry a patient load way beyond safe and all for less money then the garbage collectors receive. Not to mention a pension that is less then subminimal. I could go on, but why bother if you are a nurse today working in a hospital setting you know why nurses strike. We need more to take up the cause. JJ
  4. by   mash406rn
    Absolutely!!

    My mom retired from the hospital I'm striking from and is now working at another hospital just to pay for her medical insurance. Her monthly pension is under $400.00 per month.
    Money asside, our patients are in jepordy our licenses are in jepordy, the future of nursing is in jepordy.

    In our case we are also dealing with hostile working conditions. Managers and Physicians are allowed to treat us worse than we would treat a wild animal. We are in desperate need of the grievence procedure a union contract provides us.

    We will continue to HOLD THE LINE for however long it takes!
  5. by   PEDSNURSE74
    I have worked a strike, of course the "professional staff" didn't strike.
    We have no strike clause in our contract.
    I have had many discussions with my coworkers on this subject.
    My decision is to go to work and take care of my patients.
    If you choose to picket that is your right.
    Administration will be hurting because of all the ot paid out.
    Our Admin was hurting from our strike, they had to pay us OT, feed us and house us during the strike.
    We worked as housekeeping, food service, etc.
    Right along with the admin,lol.
    Did it help??????
    I think it opened some eyes but to say it helped???????????
    I guess what I am trying to say is this is a free country, at least for now, so we have a choice.
    I became a nurse to take care of my patients............I can't do that on a picket line.
    But as I said, that is my opinion AND my right.

    PEDSNURSE74
  6. by   mash406rn
    We all became nurses to take care of our patients. We are striking to take better care of our patients, in a safer hostile free environment. And yes, it is every individuals right to choose but that isn't going to mean we agree with eachothers choice when we are on opposing sides.
  7. by   giggly1977
    I wasn't a nurse during a strike but I was a student nurse and we got the SH-- bad!!! Our instructors didn't strike because if they did it would have set the students back one whole year from graduating. I have to give the "scabs" credit. They were great preceptors to us students. The staff nurses (strikers) screamed at us, said we weren't backing them up etc. It was tough and to be honest, I am a single mother, if my hospital decided to strike, I unfortunately would have to cross the picket lines, I couldn't afford not to. I think a strike is the last resort and should only be utilized if necessary. I'm not quite sure if I actually agree with them, I have mixed emotions after seeing one. Teamsters were sending dead rats to the instructors in the mail, one of my instructors outside bushes were set on fire. It was very scary and I thought it was quite unprofessional. Oh and by the way, the agreements that they ended up with were the same agreements that were offered before the strike began. It seemed to me that they just wanted the summer off. Needless to say, I don't work for the same hospital that I graduated from, because of the strike. The staff nurses are still unhappy with the contract and there are still traveling nurses there, almost two years later.
  8. by   -jt
    <nurses who came in to take their places for a few days... allowed them to be out w/signs alerting their community to what was going on in the local hospital >

    Scabs do not "allow" staff RN to hold pickets. The nurses have a federal right to do that & would be out there whether there were scabs inside or not. All scabs do is allow the hospital to ignore the staff RN picket & keep business up & running. If there were no scabs and the hospital had to face losing business while its nurses are out, it would be running back to the table to resolve the problem as quickly as possible. Scabs let the hospital avoid doing that & help them drag the strike on longer. Ive never met one striking RN who was glad to see a scab helping to do that to her/him.

    We do not have sympathy strike clauses in our contract either - which means that if the other employees are on strike, the RNs still have to come to work & vice versa. We are different unions. But we still support them by not doing their jobs during their strike. It would not help to settle the strike if all their RNs worked as transporters, housekeepers, messengers ---- scabbing their own non-professional coworkers. That just helps the hospital drag the strike on & on because the work is getting done anyway. The cost of the overtime is not coming out of the hospitals pockets - its coming from the state & taxpayers - so they dont care how long it lasts.

    People are free to make their own choices but they should have their eyes open and their facts straight first.
    Last edit by -jt on Mar 12, '03
  9. by   -jt
    <Our instructors didn't strike because if they did it would have set the students back one whole year from graduating.>

    Why? It doesnt have that affect here. On Long Island, NY last year, when the staff RNs at St Catherines of Sienna went out on strike, the nursing instructors that were using that hospital for clinicals came out in support of the strike and even helped lead it. They boycotted the hospital, pulled their students out, made arrangements for clinicals at other facilities - some not so nearby and not so convenient to get to but the students did it. Where theres a will theres a way. They did not cross the RN strike line and their education was not interrupted.

    Students and instructors walked the strike line with the nurses too. The issues were safe staffing, forced overtime, & other working conditions & the students understood that those things would be affecting them too as new nurses if things were not changed now. The hospital had planned to utilize the students as scabs but the students & instructors refused to allow that. After 111 days and millions of taxpayer $$$ spent on scabs and ineffective strike-busting tactics, the hospital finally gave in & agreed to the contract the RNs demanded - safe staffing ratios, banned mandatory ot, recruitment/retention initiatives.
    Last edit by -jt on Mar 12, '03
  10. by   eddy
    Strikes only occur AFTER there have been extensive talks that have failed. People don't strike for the "heck of it". It is a burden for everyone involved, but it's often the only way to get management to act.

    In regard to the patients... It's not the fault of the nurses for the greedy powers that be that chose to run at a normal load and accept new admits when they KNOW that staff will be short in a strike situation. That's like blaming UPS drivers for striking because it was their fault that your beanie baby you won on ebay took 3 days extra to get to you.... Or blaming it on the bus drivers who went on strike due to terrible compensation and safety concerns that management refused to address and caused you not to get to your desired destination. All this "you've got to make money so I'll scab" rationale is completely absurd. So since you happen to be in a bad temporary situation you are willing to set back your future and the future of others because you CLEARLY care more about yourself than the patients anyway. What is good for patients is highly skilled well compensated nurses. What's good for nurses is OTHER highly skilled well compensated nurses.

    Scabs are scum. If you scab, I have zero respect for you. Flame me all you want, but there is a reason why we have Unions and collective bargaining... and it isn't intended to line your scab pockets while you travel the country scabbing your license to anyone willing to take you. You're not a hero. You are just a scab... plain and simple.

    This is a fight. Those in organized unions are making sacrifices for the future of themselves, their patients, and future nurses to come. The ones that DON'T care about any of these people are corporate big heads who are merely trying to squeeze every penny out of the company with little regard for patient care. The ones making it possible for management to continue acting only in their OWN best interests are scabs that will sell out in the name of a dollar. Sick.
    Last edit by eddy on Mar 12, '03
  11. by   hogan4736
    jt,
    you stated: "They boycotted the hospital, pulled their students out, made arrangements for clinicals at other facilities - some not so nearby and not so convenient to get to but the students did it."

    of course students did it...what other choice would they have??"

    interesting debate though...Is it selfish of the instructors to jump in (they don't work there technically), as their #1 priority should be the students.

    sean
  12. by   hogan4736
    Originally posted by eddy
    What is good for patients is highly skilled well compensated nurses. What's good for nurses is OTHER highly skilled well compensated nurses.

    Scabs are scum. If you scab, I have zero respect for you. Flame me all you want, but there is a reason why we have Unions and collective bargaining... and it isn't intended to line your scab pockets while you travel the country scabbing your license to anyone willing to take you. You're not a hero. You are just a scab... plain and simple.

    Sick.
    I agree, if nurses strike, which "highly skilled" nurses will care for the patient? Since it seems you would have the patients suffer.
    Or, if you were a patient in a hospital whose nurses went on strike, who would care for you???
  13. by   eddy
    Originally posted by hogan4736
    I agree, if nurses strike, which "highly skilled" nurses will care for the patient? Since it seems you would have the patients suffer.

    To the contrary. Administration has usually two weeks of warning of a potential strike. In this time they can do what's right or what's normal (wrong). They have the time to decline new non-emergency admits, time to transfer low acuity patients and even high acuity STABLE patients OR start talking about a resolution. The ball is in their court. The patients are often already suffering substandard care, not the fault of the nurses working at the facility. Due to terrible staffing ratios, low compensation, etc. "highly skilled" nurses are finding that they can make a better living and a better life with their license away from the bed side. That's not their fault. That is administration. Strikes aren't just something done on a whim. Strikes come about after the management has refused to bargain. THEY are causing the patients additional suffering if anybody is. I certainly care a great deal about my patients. I wouldn't be in this if I didn't. Nurses are patients #1 advocate.


    Or, if you were a patient in a hospital whose nurses went on strike, who would care for you???

    First, I would TRY not to go to a hospital on strike. It is my duty to support my brothers and sisters by boycotting that service until an agreement is met. That is of course assuming a non-critical visit. In some situations I have no choice, but if I am plopped into a striking facility, it's quite likely only because administration is just trying to pull off a magic trick rather than refer all incoming pts to the neighboring hospitals (like they ethically should). Do you think it would be fair for a baseball stadium to sell tickets to people while the team was on strike so they can sit there and look at an empty field? That's the equivilant to what management is trying to do at a hospital if they aren't referring their people out to neighboring facilities. Besides it is a widely known fact that most nurses on strike will cross the lines for emergency related situations, returning once the situation has been returned to a stable condition. Further demonstrating that striking nurses DO care about their patients.
    Last edit by eddy on Mar 12, '03

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