The Washington Business Journal is reporting that nurses at the Washington Hospital Center are planning to walk out the day before Thanksgiving. Why? To protest wage cuts, staffing issues and the firing of nurses who stayed home during last year's blizzard. Their union, National Nurses United, has announced that nurses will stage a one-day work stoppage the day before Thanksgiving. National Nurses United sent a letter to hospital management giving formal notice of the planned strike. The nurses' walkout will begin at 7 a.m. on Nov. 24 — Thanksgiving Eve — and extend until 6:59 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Washington Hospital Center, part of Columbia, Md.-based MedStar Health, is the largest civilian hospital in the region. A strike would mark the boldest action yet by the nurses at the hospital in Northwest D.C., where labor tensions have come to dominate 2010. If the strike goes forward, the hospital would have to hire about 600 short-term replacement workers. On Nov. 1, the new union gave a report to the D.C. Department of Health, documenting instances of what it called poor patient care as a result of inadequate nurse staffing. Hospital officials dispute the report. If the current conditions are resulting in poor patient care, then striking will exacerbate that, won't it? It seems that there should be some other way to resolve these issues. If the conditions for nurses are that poor, what is the alternative? The sad part about it is that the patients will suffer.

Read more at the Washington Business Journal.

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