Difficulty of going on Strike

On May 6 1974, SUN members experienced their first strike, which lasted only 24 hours. Many nurses experienced emotional turmoil, because supporting each other and the union meant  leaving their patients.

Mary Parchewsky remembers the first time that SUN went on strike. There was mixed reaction amongst the nurses. Some were more than willing to take job action while others were reluctant to tie themselves to such action.

"The experiences the first strike, it was really overwhelming, it was such a anti-nurse thing but pro-nurse as far as benefits were concerned and some of the nurses got locked out and they'd phone me in the middle of the night and say they were locked out of work and I don't know what to do, you know try to appease them and then I'd phone Al and say "Al, what do I do now?" And then after the one of the hospitals, it wasn't a very large place but the nurses wrote me a letter and said they never wanted to go on strike again and never to ask them to go on strike again. Well when we were voting for our second strike that hospital nurses voted 100% because management had tried to shaft them on something that they had agreed to.....And it was really difficult, because they didn't, the hospitals didn't recognize the agreement as applying to each of them. They would try to negotiate something less than what we'd, they'd agreed and it, there were a few really rough, rough spots in that manner. And we'd have some fighting with the management at negotiations. One day we wore black roses because we were so depressed, we all wore black roses and we thought that would give them the message that we weren't happy. There were some really key people in our organization who at the right moment they would come up with the brightest ideas you know; it was just like a miracle had risen. They were the phoenixes, so it was really a great, great experience.

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