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Nurses stage strike at Long Beach hospital

Nurses at a Long Beach hospital staged a one-day strike Thursday to protest what they say are unfair cuts that affect patient care, rising healthcare premiums and stagnant contract negotiations.

The nurses are from the Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and Miller Children’s Hospital.

As many as 2,000 were expected to participate in the strike, and an organizer with the California Nurses Assn. said hundreds of employees started picketing early Thursday morning.

“We’ve got a lot of issues on the table about patient care,” said Cynthia Hanna, the union’s lead labor representative. “It’s patients versus profits.”

The work stoppage was not expected to cause any harm to patients, though officials from both the union and hospital said the cost of replacing striking employees is in the millions.

Hospital officials called the strike a disappointment earlier this week, and a wire service reported that officials said striking employees would not be allowed back to work until Tuesday.

The action in Long Beach coincided Thursday with other strikes across the state, Hanna said, including thousands of nurses from several Bay Area hospitals.


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Photo: Registered nurse Matt Tom and other striking nurses from Long Beach Memorial Hospital and Miller Children's Hospital make their case to passersby. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

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