August 20, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a largely unmitigated disaster. More than half a million Americans have died as a result of the virus. Through it all, nurses, nursing assistants, respiratory therapists, other healthcare professionals, and the various staff that keep our hospitals running have been worked to the bone. Without the efforts of these workers, including the workers who we represent across the state of Wisconsin, many more would have tragically lost their lives. As if healthcare workers weren’t a vital part of society before, the debt they are owed after what they’ve struggled through over the past year and a half is vast.
Despite the service of these workers to the communities in which they live and beyond, the healthcare corporations that they are employed by have not done enough to reciprocate these efforts. At several junctures over the course of the pandemic, employers have refused to offer bonuses for essential workers, failed to provide ample Personal Protective Equipment, failed to provide proper medical equipment, failed to provide proper staffing, and failed to produce appropriately safe working conditions. To sum it up, corporate healthcare employers have failed their workers and the people to whom they provide care. While the frontlines were starved for support, it was the bottom lines that received the reinforcements. This behavior isn’t new on the part of these corporations, but the stark differences between their words and their actions has never been more clear than now.