D.C. Nurses Vote to Strike

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    BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 16: A surgeon and his theatre team perform key hole surgery to remove a gallbladder at at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital on March 16, 2010 in Birmingham, England. As the UK gears up for one of the most hotly contested general elections in recent history it is expected that that the economy, immigration, industry, the NHS and education are likely to form the basis of many of the debates. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

    The nurses of Washington Hospital Center in northwest D.C. have put management on notice: they are walking out on March 4.

    The 1,650 registered nurses are members of National Nurses United, the largest nurses union in the country.

    The union had originally planned on a strike in October, but came back to the bargaining table to negotiate.

    Now negotiations are once again at an impasse, and the nurses' union say this time they will walk out.  At issue are labor practices, concern over a lack of staffing, and wages.

    “The issues we are raising about patient care affect a large number of people in this city who depend on us to take care of them and their loved ones when they are sick," said Mary Heine, a cardiac nurse at the hospital in a press release. "We’re grateful that they’re rallying to our side.”

    Organized labor groups around the D.C. area have expressed their support for the nurses at Washington Hospital Center.  The hospital is owned by MedStar Health, a corporation that owns several hospitals in Maryland and D.C.