Nurses crossing picket lines??

  1. My friend, who is an experienced travel RN, is thinking about taking a job where she will make $5,000 a week pay, but she has to go to another state and cross a picket line to get to work. I know a little bit about strikes and picket lines from my father, who has been a manager in a auto-parts factory for years. I can remember during strikes people would actually try to attack him physically, damage his car, and even threaten to kill him. Needless to say, I am pretty upset about my friend taking this position. I am very concerned for her safety. Does anyone know anything about nurses on strike? Can those strikes be as violent and dangerous as other union strikes?? I am trying to talk my friend out of going. Any insight/advice you could give me would be great. Thanks.
    •  
  2. 99 Comments

  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Wish her luck and hopefully she works safely. I can't be impartial here. I strongly disagree w/scabbing, but it's her decision and legal right to do so. The money will be EARNED, believe me.
  4. by   fergus51
    I have never heard of scab nurses being attacked. I would hope her own ethics would guide her decision in this matter. I would be more worried about the environment INSIDE the hospital (there has to be a reason staff nurses would take the drastic action of striking and I don't think it's safe to work with a large number of agency nurses who are unfamiliar with the hospital).
  5. by   leslie :-D
    i think your friend's personal safety will be fine. but it would be even more helpful if she supported her colleagues and didn't cross the line.
  6. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    I think scabs (those who will cross picket lines for their own rea$on$) are beneath contempt.

    However, doing this is your friend's right, and no one should have to worry about violence being used against them if they are not breaking the law.
  7. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Quote from earle58
    i think your friend's personal safety will be fine. but it would be even more helpful if she supported her colleagues and didn't cross the line.
    You said it!
  8. by   zenman
    I was a scab when I first moved to Hawaii. It just happened that I was moving here at the time the nurses were going on strike. The travel nurses were bused to and from their hotel to the hospitals. I would just ride the city bus to the hotel then ride with my fellow scabs to the hospitals. There were usually police officers near the picket lines although it was clear that they were pro union. We were blocked once by a group of picketers and I just got off the bus and walked right through them. Being a black belt in Hapkido helps!! Basically, there is every effort made to protect everyone. Oh, I did almost have one altercation as I was walking a few blocks from the hotel to my bus stop. I was tired (7-8 patients a day for 12 hr shifts 6 days a week) and not in a good mood that particular day. When some male nurses starting screaming at me, I invited them to step into the darkness between some buildings. They refused and I lost a chance to work out that night! This was my first encounter with a union state and it was not positive. Nurses at some point will realize that local strikes will do little. I was amazed that nurses would act like blue collar workers, screaming and hollering and running along side our bus taking pictures. I already have my picture on my website...were they thinking of posting another one on the internet? The nurse that took my picture later showed it to me and asked if it was me. It was a good picture (if I say so myself) of me in the bus smiling and flashing a shaka. I later became a supervisor at the same hospital I worked at during the strike. Needless to say, I had good insight into the type of care given at this place. All in all, it was a good time and the chance to work with travelers from all over. There was a lot of discussion and a lot learned when you get such a group together. I was amazed at the positive aloha from the people on the island. Doctors shook my hand, bus drivers thanked me, cab drivers thanked me, the flower shops that called the hospital thanked me, the medical exchange operators thanked me...on and on. I was shocked! And of course the patients were happy to see us. I guess when nurses go on strike, they should clean up their act before they go because someone else is going to come in and see what kind of job you've been doing! Just as one example of many, I heard some travel nurses asking why it took so many local nurses to run a clinic because they were doing it with half the nurses. Like I said, I had 7-8 patients on the day shift and some days had to pass their meds also. Of course that is too many patients, but I'm an experienced organized nurse and no one died, I never missed breaks or lunch and always got out on time. The CNAs were amazed that I would work along side them and get my work done so fast. It's almost funny now when nurses tell me halfway through a shift they will need overtime or will not get a break!! Oh, ok! And the staffing people loved us. No calling in sick; as one told me, "you guys were asking for no days off; I had to make you take off!" I don't care to hear any comments from pro union folks. At some point you'll be able to see the entire picture and realize how to affect change in nursing. I'm very pro nurse; I've been one for 30 years. I do think that every company that has a union certainly deserves it! And do nurses really think that no one will take care of patients while they are walking the picket line? Get real! Since I've been here the nurses have gone on strike (harming the very people they serve), the bus drivers have gone on strike (harming people who depend on the bus), the concrete workers have gone on strike (harming the housing industry and workers), and the tug boat workers have been on strike (harming the people on the neighboring islands). And you ask why companies are moving offshore? You made a point by striking; now get back to work because it will take you years to repair the damage (if ever) and to get the money back you lost! Tell your friend to go ahead. Everyone needs the experience she will get. Oh yes, the union here is in disarray, with one side suing the other, monies lost, etc., etc.. When will it ever end?
    Last edit by zenman on Jul 6, '04
  9. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Randall, you say that busdrivers, nurses, etc "harm the very people they serve" when they strike.

    But if they feel thay are being mistreated by an employer, should nurses become martyrs, thereby harming themselves to avoid upsetting people w/ a strike?

    Since you were helping the hospital out of a jam that they helped create, they may have treated you very differently than they treated regular staff.

    I know when I've done "fill in" work for other nurses, I have not been given the missing nurse's entire workload. For example, I've not been expected to fill out monthly summaries, and reports, serve on committees, or attend multiple meetings, whereas regular staff did have these extra things piled on them.

    People who are being treated well don't display the anger that you desribed. Most people who are that pi$$ed off have a REASON.

    You come off as very macho, smug, and arrogant in your reply.

    I know that somebody has to cross the picket lines when nurses strike, if only for the pts. But- it ain't gonna be me.
  10. by   leslie :-D
    is this an example of divide and conquer?????? hmmmm, let's just add another notch in our nsg. belt of achievements. :stone
  11. by   alk3rainbow
    I was amazed that nurses would act like blue collar workers, screaming and hollering and running along side our bus taking pictures.
    Wow coming from a family of blue collared workers, I'm extremely offended. Get off your high horse. Being a "professional" doesn't make you better then anyone else. Blue collared workers aren't ignorant people, they just picked a different profession and thank god someone did because we need our plumbers and electricians and garbage men. They work hard and they deserve good working conditions just as nurses do, and I don't see how picketing for better working conditions is a bad thing. Sometimes it is the only way to get administrators to listen.
  12. by   RN4NICU
    I agree Hellllllo Nurse, when I have worked as a traveler (I will NOT cross a nurses' picket line) I have almost always been paid as well or better than the staff and did not have to put up with ANY of the crap from management. No mandatory OT, no committee work, no career ladder, no begging for a raise, no vacation requests refused, no inservices in the middle of my sleeping time or on an off-day. And the regular staff typically did not receive the gratitude I received just for being there. When they worked OT, it was expected and usually mandatory...when I did it, it was an option - I was well-compensated to do so and the staff was overjoyed to have the help.

    Scr*wing over our own is not going to get us where we want to be.
  13. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Quote from RN4NICU
    I agree Hellllllo Nurse, when I have worked as a traveler (I will NOT cross a nurses' picket line) I have almost always been paid as well or better than the staff and did not have to put up with ANY of the crap from management. No mandatory OT, no committee work, no career ladder, no begging for a raise, no vacation requests refused, no inservices in the middle of my sleeping time or on an off-day. And the regular staff typically did not receive the gratitude I received just for being there. When they worked OT, it was expected and usually mandatory...when I did it, it was an option - I was well-compensated to do so and the staff was overjoyed to have the help.

    Scr*wing over our own is not going to get us where we want to be.

    Well said, RN4NICU. Thumbs up!
  14. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Quote from zenman
    I And you ask why companies are moving offshore?
    Hmmmm, let's see...
    1. Few if any, enforcable child labor laws.
    2.Disenfranchised, poverty stricken workers who do not have the power or resources to demand fair wages, hours, and working condtions, but no doubt would if they could.
    3. Being able to legally pollute the environment of other nations with abandon, without objection by people who are so economically depressed and oppressed by their governments that they have no means or right to say anything about it.
    4. No minimum wage laws.
    5. No regulatory or oversight organizations, just to name a few.


    Quote from zenman
    You made a point by striking; now get back to work because it will take you years to repair the damage (if ever) and to get the money back you lost!
    Most nurses who strike do not do so for higher wages- they do it because of manditory overtime, poor working conditions, too many pts per nurse, abd poor treatment by mgmt.
    Last edit by Hellllllo Nurse on Jul 7, '04

close