Providence Nurses It’s Time For An Indefinite Strike!

What follows is a leaflet distributed by members of the Class Struggle Action Network at the ongoing Providence nurses strike in Oregon.

Providence nurses, you have taken a major step in organizing the largest nurse strike in the state of Oregon’s history, 3,000 workers strong! As the boss offers you  wages which do not keep up with the raising costs of living, they demand that you work more for less pay. The Class Struggle Action Network encourages you and stands ready to fight beside you and workers everywhere, not just for wages that keep up with inflation, but wage gains that exceed them. Instead of increased workloads, you deserve radical reductions in the length of your work weeks. 

The opportunist and boss linked leadership within the Oregon Nurse Association continue  to sell workers short and undercut your true strength by organizing weak strike actions, keeping workers divided and binding the union to the electoral initiatives of the boss’s political parties.

True strikes are always indefinite in length. ONA leadership continues to organize impotent strike actions with pre-announced expiration dates that last only a few days. This allows the boss to prepare to hire scab replacements with ease and ensure that normal operations are not disturbed, drastically undercutting the economic leverage workers have over the employer, the key to force them to accept your demands.

There are over 30,000 members of ONA; however, the union does not mobilize all its members to strike together. Further, Providence nurses themselves are divided between various sections with several different contract expiration dates. This means only a small number of nurses are ever mobilized to strike at any given time, and not even all of the unions members at Providence are  mobilized to apply unified pressure against their mutual employer. This obviously plays to the bosses advantage, and weakens the workers position. Instead the union should be organized so that all workers can strike together, increasing their strength and power to win their demands exponentially. 

After the strike of Providence workers last year, opportunist ONA leadership and their Democratic Party allies celebrated the Safe Staffing Law as a crowning achievement of the strike action itself; however, now we see how this law is being used against workers in an entirely predicable way to force workers to work more for less pay. Workers cannot trust  the guarantees of the bosses political parties, their legislative system and courts. Only powerful unions organized on a strictly working class basis, capable of mobilizing masses of workers for strong indefinite strike action can defend workers living standard and working conditions. 

It’s time to break with the opportunist and boss linked leadership’s direction for ONA. Worker militants within ONA must organize themselves and join other workers in the long struggle to reforge true working class unions outside the orbit of the bosses control. If you are sympathetic to these positions we encourage you to contact and join the Class Struggle Action Network.

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