Susan Walker, a nurse in the day surgery department, joined dozens of others picketing outside the Ballard hospital. She said this was her first strike in 41 years as a nurse, but chronic short-staffing means she has to work on her day off every two or three weeks.
“We have to come in on our days off constantly to take care of patients,” Walker said. “It’s very disruptive to your life, but you feel sorry for your coworkers so you bite the bullet and come in.”
The labor action called by SEIU Local 1199NW, which represents 7,800 workers at Swedish, is one of the largest hospital strikes in the U.S. in recent years, and it comes amid both a national shortage of nurses and a trend of hospital consolidation.
Gene Johnson, Associated Press abcnews