Nurses’ union threatens strike over swine flu

(AP) – A nurses’ union is threatening a one-day strike at 34 hospitals across California, accusing them of poor swine flu preparedness.

California Nurses Association spokesman Chuck Idelson says up to 16,000 registered nurses will strike on Oct. 30 if federal swine flu recommendations aren’t written into their contracts.

Idelson said Monday that nurses have complained about poor access to protective masks since a Sacramento nurse died in July after contracting swine flu.

Catholic Healthcare West runs 28 of the hospitals expected to be affected by the strike.

Hospital chain spokeswoman Jill Dryer says contract negotiations have been under way since March and include a commitment to provide safe working environments for nurses.

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