Rally Planned to Support Striking Nurses

Striking nurses with the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit will have some company on the picket line Friday morning.

The 86 Nurse Practitioners, Public Health Nurses and Registered Practical Nurses will be joined by their friends, families, the CEO and board members of the Ontario Nurses' Association, provincial and federal politicians and Windsor and District Labour Council President Brian Hogan who says it's important to support the nurses because their work is widespread. "Helping babies and young moms all the way to outbreaks at senior homes and everything in between, including immunizations and schools. You name any sort of public health problem, they protect us."

Hogan adds, all residents should support the nurses. "Because the nurses do such great work and it's always often behind the scenes, just going there to tell them 'hey, thanks for the work you do and we hope you're going to get back to the table quickly and we are going to do our best to be part of that.' "

The rally starts at 11am infront of the health unit offices on Ouellette Avenue. Hogan is among those who will address the crowd and plans to call for a return to the bargaining table. "We have the power to make that change. We elected these officials and we can't just sit idly by while there's a labour dispute. You have to say to your mayor,  your city councillors, 'get your team back to the table'."

Speeches begin at noon with remarks from the Ontario Nurses Association, MPs and MPPs.  The nurses will also wrap up their "Time for a Change" diaper drive. Supplies collected with be donated to The Downtown Mission.

Eighty-six employees walked off the job March 8th after rejecting the health unitr's last offer.

- with files from AM800's Rob Hindi