- About 15,000 workers in hospitals across Minnesota and Wisconsin demanding better working conditions and higher wages
- Minnesota Nurses Association says the three-day nurses’ stoppage was set to last until Thursday morning
- Meanwhile, hospitals have planned to continue providing care, albeit with possible disruptions to workflow
Approximately 15,000 private sector nurses in the US state of Minnesota have launched a three-day strike as they push for higher pay and better staffing in a healthcare system that has been stretched to its limits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The nurses walked off the job on Monday in seven healthcare systems in Minneapolis and Duluth, mounting picket lines, chanting slogans and holding signs bearing messages such as “Patients Before Profits”.
The stoppage was set to last until Thursday morning, according to a spokesperson for the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA), which was coordinating the action, and will affect 16 hospitals.
“Hospital executives have already driven nurses away from the bedside by their refusal to solve the crises of staffing and retention in our hospitals,” the union’s negotiating team said in a statement, adding that nurses are “understaffed and overworked”.
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The strike, which the MNA said is believed to be the largest of its kind in United States history, highlights the persistent problems that US healthcare workers face, such as low pay and staffing shortages.
Amid shortage of nurses, US hospitals seek foreign nurses to fill gaps caused by the pandemic
Meanwhile, American hospitals are in dire shortage of nurses in the midst of a pandemic that has refused to abate and many are looking abroad for healthcare workers.
There is a high number of green cards available this year for foreign workers including nurses who want to move to the United States, double the number as many years ago.
The reason is that US consulates which were closed down during the pandemic were not issuing visas to relatives of American citizens and, according to the law, these slots were not used now get transferred to workers which are eligible.
Nigerians storm UK visa offices after Legit story
Recall that Legit.ng has reported that two days after Legit.ng published a story that the United Kingdom has resumed Priority Visa issuance to Nigerians, the UK visa office is overflowing with Nigerians seeking to obtain visas.
Nigerians began to throng the UK visa office after it was announced that Nigeria has been removed from the UK red list following the drop in the spread of Omicron variant of COVID-19.
A crowd of applicants was seen milling outside the visa office in Lekki Phase I offices of TLSContact. Long queues were seen as people waited to be called in for the application.