Friday Dec 23, 201110:19 AM GMT
Over 1,000 California nurses on strike
Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:22AM
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More than a thousand nurses in the US state of California have gone on strike over a proposal to reduce their healthcare coverage and retirement benefits, Press TV reports.

Nurses in California went on strike Thursday as part of a statewide strike involving an estimated 6-thousand nurses at nine hospitals.

The one-day walkout was the second strike organized by the California Nurses Association, which had earlier also called a walkout on Sept. 22.

The Thursday strike came on the same day that more than 1,000 nurses in New York City gave notice that they plan to go on strike in January.

The nurses are protesting what they say are unsafe staffing levels and increases in health care costs, that limit the ability of nurses to afford health insurance.

“Our patients' safety issues and our patient security concerns have not been addressed,” said Margie Keenan, a protesting registered nurse, adding “We have concerns about the cost cutting and the speed up and staffing to the bone. There are not enough nurses to relieve nurses for meals and breaks.”

The strike has earned the support of the local Occupy movement. Protesters say the hospital is extremely profitable and they're engaging in Wall Street-style gambling with the lives of patients and nurses.

The Occupy movement, now widespread across the US, began when a group of demonstrators gathered in New York's financial district on September 17 to protest against the unjust distribution of wealth in the country and the excessive influence of big corporations on US policies.

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