Nurses Win

Proving that going on strike works, 200 or so nurses at the Greenfield hospital won a new union contract. It was approved by the nurses' elected union leaders. The approximately 200 nurses will vote on June 11 on whether to accept the contract, Donna Stern told the Valley Post. She is a nurse at the hospital. “This is a huge victory,” she said.

Patients at the hospital will get better care as a result of the contract, Stern said. She thanked community supporters who showed up on the picket line. The nurses have a web site at www.MassNurses.org.

On average, workers in the USA make 27 percent higher wages when they join a union. That's according to www.bls.gov.

Most union contracts say workers can only be fired for "just cause." Non-union workers can be fired at any time for no reason.

Millions of workers in the USA are union members, including all the workers at UPS, UMass Amherst, the Brattleboro Retreat (900 or so workers), and the food co-ops in Northampton, Greenfield, and Brattleboro. The Brattleboro co-op has about 160 employees.

The middle class in the USA is disappearing. There are more rich people and more poor people than there have been since the 1920s. This allows billionaires more influence over politicians. Unions are one way to expand the middle class and increase democracy.

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