Sunday, December 8, 2013

Cold, but not lonely, being Locked Out

It was 24 degrees when I awoke this morning to get ready for work.
Down in New London, my friends are standing out in this cold, a hundred yards from their hospital.
One week ago their CEO locked them out.
What kind of man does that?

These dedicated nurses and techs stages a 4 day legal strike, to protest the fact that this man has engaged in a practice of firing their coworkers, moving their work to other buildings, and replacing the workers with new workers at below living wages and benefits, all while buying Westerly Hospital and pulling in $800,000/year in salary.
That's over $15,000 a week!
What kind of man?

The nurses and techs are ready to return to work, in fact, they tried and were threatened with arrest for trespass.
The are ready to meet 24/7 to continue to come to a resolution, and willing and wanting, to work while they do this, but he has agreed to just one session in the past week (after pressure from U S Senators, congressman, the Mayor, and every other area politician) and then he offered nothing new.
What kind of man?

The kind of man who does not believe that workers should have a voice, the ability to speak and advocate for themselves, their patients, and their community.

He wants to break them.

So, he locks them out in the cold, away from their work, their vocation, their patients.

He stands on one side.
The nurses and techs on the other side.
A classic showdown.
A line in the sand.

On the side of the nurses and techs, (you know, the 24 degree side), stands both U S senators and our Congressman, the Mayor, every area state senator and representative, the governor, secretary of state, comptroller, state attorney general, labor commissioner and every other state leader,  social and religious leaders, millions of members of organized labor across this country,  and most important, the people of the area.

On the other side stands the hospital CEO.

It's 24 degrees on the outside, but it's not cold and it's not lonely.

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