Protest spotlights Johns Hopkins’ bad record with nurses

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MEREDITH ZOLTICK, a registered nurse at Johns Hopkins Hospital, speaks at a "Rally for the Rights of RNs and Patients," sponsored by the AFL-CIO, National Nurses United and the Coalition for a Humane Hopkins. Attendees support the efforts of nurses to unionize and spoke out against the hospital's practice of collecting medical debt from former patients. – Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun photo

Baltimore, Md. (PAI) — Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore may have a world-class reputation for medical research and care, but it’s anything but world-class in the way it treats its nurses.

That between reputation and reality brought almost 1,000 people to a mass demonstration in front of Hopkins’ original building, now its administrative offices, northeast of Baltimore’s downtown in 95-degree heat and humidity on July 20.

“Their cause is our cause,” Metro Baltimore AFL-CIO President Jermaine Jones told the crowd, which included members of AFSCME, the Auto Workers, the Letter Carriers, the Communications Workers, the Service Employees, Unite Here, the Government Employees, the Teachers (AFT), the United Food and Commercial Workers and the Electrical Workers.

Led by National Nurses United and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler, the crowd demanded Hopkins stop waging all-out union-busting against NNU. Hopkins nurses want their union “so they can advocate for their patients,” NNU Executive Director Bonnie Castillo, an RN from California, said. NNU members from New York, Philadelphia and D.C. also showed up in solidarity.

“We are here to take a stand for what’s right,” declared Castillo. “We want to send a message to Hopkins management: People before profits.”


 

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