Media Statement

Nurses’ Union “Sympathy” Strike Linked to $2 Million Loan to NUHW Labor Group

Patients love their nurses.  Hospitals do too.  Nurses provide the caring touch and clinical expertise that is integral to ensuring high quality patient care every day in hospitals throughout California.  Sadly, the labor union that represents less than one-fourth of all California nurses seems to have a different priority.

Today, for the third time in four months, the California Nurses Association labor union has called a one-day strike at dozens of hospitals across California.  Union leaders have labeled this latest job action a “sympathy strike” because, in fact, this union is not striking over wages and benefits.  The nurses’ union has an existing contract, with a “no-strike” agreement in place, with the targeted hospitals.

To call this a “sympathy strike” is absurd.  Sympathy for whom?  It’s certainly not sympathy for the vulnerable patients who are being abandoned by their caregivers so they can walk picket lines.  Rather, it is sympathy for another union, the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW), in its bargaining efforts. 

Why would CNA leaders tell nurses to walk away from their patients to support the efforts of another union?  Perhaps it’s because there is a financial relationship between NUWH and CNA.  A recently disclosed financial statement reveals that in 2010, CNA loaned NUHW $2 million.

Make no mistake.  This strike is not about patient care.  It’s about CNA’s ongoing attempts to grow its membership, increase its member dues and advance its aggressive political agenda.  This union already rakes in nearly $61 million in annual member dues. 

Patients shouldn’t be pawns in any union’s political game.  It is time for union members to get off the picket line and back to caring for their patients.