On the day it was announced the lockout of nearly 800 nurses and health techs at Lawrence & Memorial (L&M) Hospital would end, Santa Claus arrived to bring some holiday cheer. The Connecticut AFL-CIO's United Labor Agency coordinated the event and members of the New London Fire Fighters, IAFF Local 1522 supplied the "sleigh" the jolly old elf rode to the picket line.
Nearly 1,000 toys were donated by individuals, labor unions, and community organizations for the children of AFT Local 5049 and 5051 members impacted by the illegal lockout. "Elves" from the two locals wrapped and packaged gifts and along with AFT Connecticut staff helped organize the visit from Santa to help their colleagues facing difficulty this holiday season.
Even better for these families, the 19-day lockout of nurses and health techs at Connecticut's Lawrence & Memorial Hospital ended the same day. And while lockouts are a tool of bosses trying to preemptively weaken unions and workers, it's more good news for these workers that they seem to feel greater solidarity with each other because of the lockout. They'll need it, because their fight for quality, community-based care and decent working conditions isn't over, even though they're back on the job.