Second Longest Nursing Strike in Massachusetts History Clears Day 100 as Tenet Healthcare Corporation Draws Coast to Coast Criticism
By Matthew Erlich
The St. Vincent nurse’s strike reached a milestone last week on Tuesday, June 15. That day marked day 100 since the nurses walked out to fight for safe patient care and better working conditions. It is now the 2nd longest nursing strike in Massachusetts history. The nurses of St. Vincent are as committed as ever to fight for their community and their resolve has not wavered in the face of the greedy for-profit owner, Tenet Healthcare Corporation.
In fact, Tenet’s greed and unscrupulous practices have been put on notice on the opposite side of the country, where nurses at three Tenet owned hospitals in Orange County, California voted to authorize informational pickets on June 16. These workers, who are also fighting for a fair contract, wanted to draw attention to the fact that Tenet had taken $2.6 billion in CARES relief funds which appears to have benefited their executives and shareholders, while their patients and the frontline workers who make their hospitals run continue to suffer from unsafe staffing and work conditions.
The Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA), who represent the striking nurses, estimates that Tenet has spent over $75 million on the strike including the cost of replacement nurses and police security detail. These expenses far exceed what it would cost for Tenet to meet the nurses demands for safer staffing. This of course raises the question of why Tenet remains so stubbornly opposed? The answer seems clear: a victory for the nurses here in Massachusetts would resonate across the country and emboldening nurses at all Tenet hospitals, as we are seeing in California.
DSA support for this strike is as critical as ever given these high stakes. DSA members will continue to show their support on the picket line for as long as the fight continues. On Saturday, June 19, DSA members joined with the nurses to sing Karaoke on the picket line. They will continue to host events bringing fun and solidarity to the picket line every Friday night throughout the summer. DSA will also be raising funds to contribute to the MNA strike fund in support of the brave nurses.
To join the nurses and DSA members this Friday, June 25th for live music on the picket line, sign up here.