WASHINGTON (AFP) – A major US nurses’ union on Thursday announced plans for nationwide strikes and protests next month over what they called hospitals’ failure to protect workers against Ebola risks.
On November 11 and 12, thousands of registered nurses plan strikes, picket lines and vigils to demand “tougher Ebola safety precautions in the nation’s hospitals,” said a statement from National Nurses United.
Some 50,000 nurses in California and 100,000 nurses elsewhere in the country plan to join in, said Deborah Burger, co-president of National Nurses United (NNU).
“One centrepiece of the actions will be a two-day strike by 18,000 RNs (registered nurses) and nurse practitioners at 66 Kaiser Permanente hospitals and clinics,” said the union.
“A strike will also occur at Providence Hospital in Washington, DC affecting 400 RNs.”
The union said it wants all hospitals to adopt “the highest level of safeguards,” including full-body hazmat suits that leave no skin exposed, as well as air purifying respirators.