The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Thursday, December 18, 2003  

Philadelphia Will Lose Another 1,000 Jobs

Hmm . . . Nurses strike. Hospital obstinate in talks. Strike goes in to fifth week. The nurses’ union is scheduled to vote today on a new contract. Owner announces hospital will close March 1.

A thousand jobs down the toilet.

Conspiracy or par for the course?

Who says workers -- even professionals -- don’t need unions anymore?

Only those dimwits who will buy the company line, courtesy in this case of Tenet Healthcare Corp., that it’s the nurses’ fault.


Mary Jones of Sound & Fury, Signifying Nothing writes:

Nothing makes me angrier than the way companies like Tenet screw over nurses.

There is a tremendous shortage of both nurses and doctors in this country (and in this state), and for Tenet to simply close the hospital because it would supposedly be more cost-effective for them to do so -- Cost effective? Not in the long run, not for Philadelphia as a whole. But who are we to stand in the way of a CEO’s yearly bonus? -- is horrible enough, but the way they did it is absolutely appalling.

They baited the nurses into a strike, and now everyone will blame one of the most overworked, underappreciated groups of people in society.

Conspiracy? You bet it’s a conspiracy, in the sense that business, the current administration, and the media have toxic views towards unions, and they’re exploiting it for their own gains. In the end, it won’t matter to some CEO out in California, but for the rest of us? I shudder to think.

Sorry. I don’t mean to ramble, but I’m so outraged by this situation, and its relationship to the rest of the healthcare situation both in Philadelphia and the country. Also, my mom and cousin are both nurses, so it hits home a little.


Ed.: I don’t think she’s rambling, do you? I think she makes perfect sense.

[Post-publication addendum: Ah, the memories. If you’re interested in one of Rittenhouse’s angrier moments, take a look at “When the Going Gets Tough,” which, by coincidence, also deals with labor unions, and where I say, among other things, “Wake up, people. You’re being screwed big time from every which way including up. And not just working-class Americans, but the middle class as well.”]

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