Nurses across the country participated in a day of action in protest of pandemic working conditions.
“Chicago nurses joined colleagues across the country Thursday to protest against working conditions that they say have rapidly deteriorated as hordes of Covid-19 patients push hospitals to the limit.
Scott Mechanic, 36, an emergency room nurse at the University of Chicago Medical Center, said the problems stem from widespread labor shortages throughout the health-care system and hospital leadership who are reluctant to provide assistance.
‘We don’t have food service people … we don’t have supply chain people to deliver our most critical supplies, we don’t have people to repair our equipment,’ Mechanic said. ‘But every job that doesn’t get done by somebody else ends up falling to the bedside nurse. We’re overwhelmed.’
The protests, organized by National Nurses United, a labor union boasting 175,000 members nationwide, was part of a jam-packed day of action across 11 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. today ‘to demand the hospital industry invest in safe staffing, and to demand that President Biden follow through on his campaign promise to protect nurses and prioritize public health,’ according to the union. In Chicago, members are still working and the action was part of their bargaining process, but other branches are striking. The union plans to end the day with a candlelight vigil near the White House to honor the thousands of nurses who have died from Covid-19.”
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