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Nurses wrap up 7-day strike at Allina Hospitals

By staff |
June 26, 2016
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Twin Cites nurses on the picket line
Twin Cites nurses on the picket line (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Minneapolis, MN - Nurses who are part of the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) wrapped up a powerful seven-day strike on Sunday, June 26.

Less than 10% of the nurses at the five Allina Hospitals where MNA was striking went to work last week. In the lead-up to the strike, Allina boasted that they had found "hundreds" of scab nurses to work during the strike but around 4500 nurses walked off the job and stayed out, leaving the Allina hospitals essentially shut down.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU Healthcare MN), which repents many job classes in these same hospitals, held a seven-day support picket alongside the MNA strikers during their off-work hours. SEIU members on the picket line reported that the hospitals were mostly shut down with only a bare minimum of essential services continuing to operate. New patients were being rerouted to other hospitals outside the Allina system and surgeries and other procedures were being cancelled and rescheduled. One SEIU member on the picket line said "It's like a ghost town in there. The whole third floor and most of the nursing stations in the hospital are shut down."

In conversations with MNA nurses on the picket line and in the camps set up at supporters’ houses and churches nearby there was a common thread: The nurses understand that this is not the end. They are ready to do whatever they have to and will not break or bend. By staying out for seven days, instead of only one day as they had done in the past, the nurses were able to send a clear message to Allina that they can go out on strike and they can stay out on strike. The same thing was evident by the determination and resolve of the nurses on the picket lines.

Allina clearly lost tens of millions of dollars last week during the strike. This is not just about one contract though. For Allina this is an attempt to bust one of the biggest unions in their hospitals so that they can have unlimited power over the workplace and treat workers as poorly as they want. The nurses have sent Allina a strong message that they will never back down and will not be divided by Allina's disgusting behavior. In fact they will unite even more going forward in the face of these attacks.