Filmmaker and documentarian Michael Moore sent words of support for the 1,500 striking workers of the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professions now on strike at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia. The PASNAP members have been on strike since March 31, and Moore's statement was read at a rally held this afternoon near the picket line at Broad and Ontario in front of the hospital.
"I am proud to support the striking nurses and staff at Temple University Hospital. It is an embarrassment that an otherwise fine institution of higher learning would treat its own nurses and other health professionals with such contempt.
"Exactly what lesson is Temple teaching to its students when they attack the nurses at their own hospital? That we should beat up on the very people who have dedicated their lives to helping us when we get sick? President Hart, like the rest of us, you, too, will someday probably have to stay in a hospital. When you look up at that person taking care of you, will you hope that that nurse has been well-treated, well-paid, well-trained? Or will you say to yourself, ‘I sure hope that nurse who's placing that IV in me isn't paid more than minimum wage! I sure hope she's struggling to pay for her own health care! And I sure hope this hospital is making life as miserable as they can for this nurse!'
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"I don't think you'll be saying that, President Hart. I think you'll want the very best care from a staff who've been treated like human beings. I think that's what you'll want. So why not give that to the patients inside Temple University Hospital right now?
"Stop trying to bust this nurses' and health professionals' union! Teach your students how to behave toward those who work hard for a living. End this nonsense now before the entire country turns its focus on you and your behavior. You don't want that, do you? Seriously do I have to come to Philly? Donovan McNabb leaves, but Michael Moore shows up? No one wants that! Do the right thing. Negotiate in good faith and give the nurses and staff the contract they deserve."