Below is the text of a leaflet that Worcester Independent Socialist group distributed at a July 31st solidarity rally for striking nurses at St. Vincent Hospital.
The Independent Socialist Group (ISG) continues to support union nurses on strike at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester. The nurses on strike are members of the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA), fighting for safe staffing levels, safe working conditions, and other improvements in patient care.
The MNA also fought for safe staffing limits before the pandemic during the statewide Yes on 1 campaign in 2018. For-profit healthcare corporations like Tenet Healthcare, the owner of St. Vincent, poured millions of dollars into defeating the Yes on 1 campaign by spreading disinformation through the corporate media. ISG members stood with the MNA nurses and patients for Yes on 1 and we stand with them now!
ISG members gave support to the pre-strike informational picketing at St. Vincent, to the strike picket line, and ISG organized a public solidarity meeting with over 80 in attendance to discuss ways that unions and workers in Worcester and around Massachusetts could help build active support for the strike. ISG is proud to co-sponsor and participate in the July 31st rally for the nurses.
Winning this strike is the responsibility of the labor movement and working people, not just the MNA nurses at St. Vincent, and not just people in Worcester. A victory for the St. Vincent strikers will be a huge boost to other unions and workers in general, and help the struggle for high-quality healthcare for everyone. Tenet Corporation has billions of dollars in profits and government handouts to try and outlast the nurses. We appeal to all labor and community groups to do more to help the nurses in their struggle. In the spirit of solidarity we suggest organizing:
- A series of mass rallies and pickets at St. Vincent as a show of support and union strength. MNA and other union members across the state could be bussed into Worcester for these rallies. The AFL-CIO and Change to Win union federations should be using their resources to bring out union members and working people from around Massachusetts and New England to mass rallies and mass picketing to help win this strike.
- Car caravans, like those organized by unions, including the MNA, at the beginning of the pandemic, could be organized to visit neighborhoods in Worcester to let people know about the strike and to show public support for the nurses!
- Regular standouts with MNA nurses, union members from other unions and also from progressive groups and supporters could be organized at City Hall and at high-traffic intersections throughout Worcester to keep the strike visible and spread solidarity for the strike.
- We also call on AFL-CIO and Change to Win unions to actively organize support for all workers at St. Vincent Hospital, including workers organized by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) and International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), to not cross the MNA picket line. We urge all the unions at St. Vincent’s to support the nurses by not working at St. Vincent Hospital until an agreement with Tenet is reached that satisfies all the unions at St. Vincent’s. Workers at other facilities throughout the country owned by Tenet should consider organizing informational picketing and job actions to support the strike!
ISG members from Worcester and other areas will continue to help organize visits to the St. Vincent’s MNA picket line, donations to the MNA strike fund, and do whatever we can to help build active support for the MNA nurses on strike.
To get involved, donate, and learn more, check out the MNA’s page supporting the strike here: https://forms.massnurses.org/we-stand-with-st-vincents-nurses/