WORCESTER, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Hundreds of nurses from St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester got some high-powered support on the picket line on Friday.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Congressman Jim McGovern stopped by to show their support to the nurses, who are striking against the hospitals Dallas-based owner Tenet Healthcare over concerns about unsafe staffing levels and patient care during the Covid-19 pandemic.
"St. Vincent posted a profit of 400 million dollars," Warren said. "That means St. Vincent needs to honor the people who have done the hard work -- the nurses on the front line."
The strike began on Monday at 6 a.m. after the Massachusetts Nurse Association voted to authorize the action on Feb. 10, 2021.
The union said in the year 2020 over 600 official reports were filed by nurses about the issue -- as they allege Tenet has refused to properly address their concerns.
"Between a hospital corporation that wants to deliver profits to it's shareholders, and nurses who want to deliver healthcare to people who are sick and need them, you can count on me," Warren said. "I'll be with the nurses every day."
Tenet Healthcare alleges that they have tried to find a middle ground with the nurses -- but the union has refused to engage with them.
“This strike will only exacerbate divisiveness during a critical stage of the Covid-19 pandemic when we should be coming together to care for our patients and community,” the company said in a statement earlier this month.
Rep. McGovern said Tenet can "end [the] strike right now" if they come back to the negotiating table and cooperate with the union.
WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports.