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Folks from other parts of the country may not know that the Poconos in Pennsylvania are a favorite vacation getaway for people living in the NYC area. The Poconos also is the site of a major battle between an evil for profit hospital corporation and its workers. From Labor Notes 3/18/11:

Members of Service Employees Healthcare Pennsylvania, the workers walked out March 15 to show unity against management attempts to impose an “open shop” in contract negotiations. The strike follows an earlier one-day strike February 9.

Unionized nurses in the hospital (members of the Operating Engineers) have been speaking out in support of their co-workers, joining rallies and holding a picnic for the strikers. Other SEIU locals from Pittsburgh, Ohio, and California have sent donations.

The 550 PMC workers voted in a union four years ago and have been negotiating their second contract, which expired in October. Management has been trying to push the “open shop” poison pill into the contract, in which workers could get the benefits of the union without paying dues.

These hospital workers had to fight hard to even get a union representation election in the first place, one that they won by a 2-1 margin. Now, an evil corporation is trying to divide the workplace and weaken the union by pushing a blatantly unethical "open shop" provision in contract talks.

It takes a lot to organize a union in the face of employer opposition. Working conditions and patient care conditions at the hospital forced the employees to fight against the odds and unionize.

Let's say that the fascist corporation wins the battle. Let's say that the workers get totally screwed. What will be the impact on healthcare?

- Nurses and other employees will go to work understandably angry and resentful.

- Many of the best nurses and other caregivers will find work elsewhere.

- The employees making up the slow exodus will be replaced by people who are incredibly desperate for jobs in the high demand nursing field. Most of the new people will be incompetent and dangerous.

- All the employees will be working under highly distracting, stressful conditions.

Now, what happens if you get sick or injured on vacation to the Poconos? Do you really want your ambulance to take you to that hospital if management gets to flush quality healthcare down the toilet in favor of corporate greed?

I'll vacation elsewhere. Yes, it will be partly out of solidarity, but it will mostly be out of self preservation.

 

5 comments

  1. Dave Dubya Says:
  2. "It's only class warfare when we fight back".

    It's always something.

    Last Friday Google took down my blog without notice.

    Talk about a Kafkaesque experience. No warning, no explanation, no accusation even. I guess a lot of blogger world goes down because of misidentification as spammers. They also have a very Kafkaesque system of hoops and loops to jump through for a review.

    I get a sick sense of foreshadowing from this that all politically incorrect blogs and information sources may meet the same fate when net neutrality is lost and corporatist government clamps down.

    I'll take my davedubya.com elsewhere; Wordpress looks pretty good in comparison. I'm glad I saved all my posts and links.

     
  3. Jolly Roger Says:
  4. The Klanbaggers have declared war, and we have no choice left but to fight back. Union organizing is the most peaceful way to that end. Hopefully the one we will get to use.

     
  5. I haven't been to the Poconos in years. Went to stay at the one gay hotel there (Rainbow Mountain?). It was ok. It's just, well, lots of fudge shops, candle stores, and small evangelical churches. Um, not my scene. That said, I hope the nurses kick management's ass. Let them clean up the vomit and shit for a few days. That should do it.

     
  6. tim Says:
  7. First Dave, I noticed that. Damn blogger. No word as to why?

    Lib, Maybe Lake George or Saratoga might be to your liking. Not much else here in NY.

     
  8. Dave Dubya Says:
  9. It's back! Whew!

    I think the blog got took down accidently along with a bunch more on the same day.

    It wasn't the "conspiracy" after all...this time.

     

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