August 10, 2022
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Expand the Newark, New Jersey, health care workers’ strike!

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Are you a health care worker on strike? We want to hear about your experience. Contact the World Socialist Web Site Health Care Worker Newsletter today. 

The strike of more than 300 nurses, respiratory therapists and radiology technicians at Saint Michael’s Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey, has entered its third week. Workers are fighting a courageous battle against inadequate pay, understaffing, the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) and poor health care benefits. 

Striking St. Michael’s nurses (JNESO)

These are the same fundamental issues that health care workers around the world are fighting. In northwest Germany, nurses have launched a region-wide, four-week strike. In the US, EMS workers in New York City, nurses in Buffalo, New York, Michigan, California and Minnesota are engaged in similar battles.    

At stake in the struggle of health care workers at Saint Michael’s is much more than better working and living conditions; workers are up against a profit-driven health care system that has contributed to mass death and disease during the pandemic.

For the past two and a half years, health care workers have seen firsthand the failure of the ruling class to control the spread of SARS-CoV-2. They have witnessed the preventable deaths of more than a million Americans, including hundreds of their colleagues. Understaffing, overwork and insufficient supplies of PPE have contributed to the high death rates and to the enormous physical and psychological toll that the pandemic has taken on health care workers. 

Recently, the profession has been shaken by a disturbing series of suicides among health care workers. A staggering 90 percent of nurses are thinking of leaving the profession because of burnout, stress and other health concerns, according to a March 24 report in Healthcare IT News.

New Jersey, which is led by Democratic Governor Phil Murphy, a multimillionaire and former Goldman Sachs executive, is among the states that have been hardest hit by the pandemic. New Jersey’s official COVID death toll is 33,760. The state has the seventh-highest number of pandemic-related deaths per capita in the country, according to Worldometer. An estimated 600,000 people—out of a population of 8.9 million—now suffer from long COVID. These deaths and illnesses are a direct result of the Democratic Party’s conscious subordination of public health to the profit interests of the banks and corporations.



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