Two health care worker strikes highlight a broken system, this week in the war on workers

Two health care worker strikes highlight a broken system, this week in the war on workers

Around 2,000 health care workers at South Buffalo Mercy Hospital are on strike after weeks of negotiations left them without a deal. The workers’ own health care costs are at issue, as are staffing ratios to ensure the best care of patients. There’s an important point made in the tweets below:

My wife gets the travel nurse notices for these kinds of gigs. The pay is insane to scab. Hospitals are willing to spend big to bust unions but not to treat workers with dignity and create safe patient care

— Evan Sutton (@3vanSutton) October 1, 2021

They’re not the only health care workers currently striking. Nurses at Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts, have been on strike for more than 200 days.

“They think that women will take it on the chin no matter what,” Marie Ritacco told The Lily’s Abigail Higgins. “We are committed to our profession and to our patients, but the pandemic has proven to us that if we do not stand up for ourselves and our patients, no one is going to do that for us.”

The Saint Vincent nurses are pointing a finger at for-profit management of the hospital, saying their working conditions and the care they were able to give their patients have deteriorated since for-profit companies took over.

Whatever the system of management, it’s grotesque that, in the middle of a pandemic, health care workers are having to strike for their own pay and benefits and for the staffing ratios they need to keep patients safe.

● More from Buffalo:

What do we want? SAFE STAFFING! #SafeStaffingSavesLives #StrikeCHS

— CWA District 1 (@CWADistrict1) October 1, 2021

● “It’s time to turn this tortilla around”: El Milagro workers walk out, demanding fair treatment.

● Behind-the-scenes television and film workers in IATSE are voting on whether to authorize a strike:

“I believe in a Reasonable Rest. We give it our all. Vote yes on the Strike Authorization.” — Ruth Carter, @CDGlocal892 Costume Designer and 2019 Oscar Winner for BLACK PANTHER #IASolidarity

— IATSE // #VoteYES (@IATSE) October 1, 2021

The janitors of Denver International Airport are on strike. They say they are unpaid, understaffed and overworked by their employer and DIA contractor Flagship Aviation Services.

— Alex Burness (@alex_burness) October 1, 2021

● John Deere workers voted to authorize a strike, but soon after that happened, the UAW local representing the workers announced a tentative deal.

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