Saturday, November 10, 2007

Many years ago the United Mine Workers in the USA built hospitals in areas that had none to support their local communities and to provide health care to those who had none. In the 1970s the UMW divested themselves of these nine regional hospitals in the Appalachian area of Kentucky and West Virginia, selling them to the Appalachian Regional Health System. The story is an old one, as once vibrant member, community or worker controlled coops become ossified and fall under the rule of the managerial ruling class, embodied in this case by a supposed arms-length agency of the government. The nurses at these nine hospitals have been represented by the Kentucky Nurses' Association since the change over.
For over a month now nurses at these hospitals have been on strike. They are calling for public support by asking you to write to the President/CEO of the Appalachian Regional Health System stating your support for their demands and asking him to negotiate a fair contract. More than 630 nurses have had their pay cut by 10%. This case was arbitrated, and the nurses were upheld. Management refused to abide by the arbitration and appealed to federal court. Since this move nurses have gone on strike. The management has refused to address matters of pay, mandatory overtime and staffing ratios and has responded by hiring scabs. Actions such as these affect not just the nurses but the patients as well, as management attempts to create what is really an understaffed and overworked environment that adversely affects patient care. The nurses are asking for your support. To join this campaign go to:

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