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Growing National Nurses United union steps up strikes in aggressive new strategy



National Nurses United, the largest nurses union in the country, has helped organize strikes or threatened them this year at hospitals in California, Pennsylvania, Maine, Michigan and Minnesota. The Oakland, Calif.-based union has tapped into concerns of registered nurses worried about losing jobs at a time when hospitals and health-care organizations are under enormous pressure to cut costs.

"They have been very aggressive in legislative lobbying efforts, influencing public policy through informational picketing, and willingness to get out there and strike," said Joanne Spetz, an economist who specializes in nursing workforce issues at the University of California at San Francisco. "Love them or hate them, you have to respect their success."


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