From an Oakland Healthcare Worker
Over one hundred nurses demonstrated in front of Kaiser Oakland today. A few weeks ago, nurses protested management’s retaliation against them for bringing their own personal protective equipment (PPE) from home. Now, between the cheerful honks of supporters in their cars, and chants denouncing Kaiser’s greed, they once again demanded proper protection for nurses working with COVID patients.
For weeks, nurses have been fighting management for N95 masks, as these should be freely available to them. For a company breaking records with skyrocketing profits, a proper stock of masks and gowns shouldn’t be such a feat. And if the lack of PPE wasn’t enough, nurses are also having to fight against attacks on nurse-to-patient ratios, and against being forced to treat patients they’re not trained to care for.
During this pandemic, healthcare workers have been called heroes and have been congratulated by the population at large. People have brought gifts to hospitals, offered donations, and made art honoring first responders and people working in hospitals. It has been the bosses and the administrators of these hospitals who have showed the worst lack of appreciation. Today, these nurses reminded the Kaiser administration that there are no excuses for their despicable behavior.
Featured image taken by the author