Jan 14, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Nurses across the U.S. strike against COVID working conditions

A nurse wipes away tears inside the Covid-19 unit of Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital in California. Photo: Nic Coury/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A nurse wipes away tears inside the COVID-19 unit of Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital in California. Photo: Nic Coury/Bloomberg via Getty Images

National Nurses United, a labor union with more than 175,000 members nationwide, organized several strikes across the country Thursday, calling on the hospital industry to "invest in safe staffing."

Why it matters: The health care industry has struggled against the backdrop of heightened health risks, worker shortages and burnout, largely exacerbated by the onslaught of the coronavirus.

What they're saying: Nurses "are enraged to see that, for our government and our employers, it’s all about what’s good for business, not what’s good for public health," NNU President Zenei Triunfo-Cortez said in a statement.

  • "Our employers claim there is a ‘nursing shortage,’ and that’s why they must flout optimal isolation times, but we know there are plenty of registered nurses in this country," she added.
  • "There is only a shortage of nurses willing to work in the unsafe conditions created by hospital employers and this government’s refusal to impose lifesaving standards."
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