Monday, March 24, 2014

Everyday Heroes

There are some people who seem to go above and beyond in the service of others.
We call them heroes.
This past year, we in southeastern Connecticut were witnesses to just this type of service.
When L+M Hospital attempted to circumvent the law and move work out of the hospital and then deny the unionized workers the right to follow that work, three such heroes emerged.
Lisa D'Abrosca is a nurse and president of the RN Local 5049.
Stephanie Johnson is a sleep technologist and president of the LPN/Tech Local 5051.
Harry Rodrigues is a health unit coordinator and president of the healthcare workers Local 5123.

On their own time they visited their political representatives in Washington, Hartford, and locally to explain the plight of their workers and the community.
They met with and explained the situation to community, faith based, and labor organizations.
They testified before the NLRB.
And when even all that was not enough, they led their members on a four day protest strike, which was followed by a three week illegal lockout by the hospital.

Representative Joe Courtney described that strike and lockout by saying the eyes of Washington and the nation were on New London.

Political friends, Organized Labor, faith based and community groups all came to the aide of the workers.
The building trades cooked breakfast and lunch on the picket line, the Elks a spaghetti diner, the firefighters delivered Santa, and the AFL-CIO delivered the presents.  Members from all different kinds of unions and non union workers joined the picket line. Coffee, donuts and pizza when freely donated and often delivered.

It might have been cold on the line, but it was warm in the hearts.

So many did so much and from all the message was the same, "I am L+M!"

I am blessed with a relationship with Lisa, Stephanie, and Harry, which allowed me the ability to see some of this from the inside.  These three heroes are both human and super human.  They carried the weight of their 1600 members and families on their shoulders and could not allow the strain to show.
They grew into leaders not just for their members, but for workers and communities across this country.

And they asked nothing for themselves.

They love their members, their hospital and their community.

So, when AFT began accepting nominations for it's "Everyday Hero" award, I nominated my three heroes as a group.
In reality it's a nomination of them, their members, and all the people of the community and the nation who became involved in this struggle.

Starting today, I ask you to log onto and cast a vote for my heroes, our heroes.

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