Unions.

I was ready to comment on this article about the potential nurse strike in Minnesota. I’ve been following the labor dispute loosely; what has surprised me is the predominantly anti-union sentiment taken by newspaper article commenters (Minnesota tends to the liberal side of the spectrum).

This afternoon hospitals and the union agreed to a to-be-voted-upon proposal. Good news for patients. In a quick analysis, it looks like the nurses conceded more than the hospitals. The union had claimed that mandatory nursing ratios were their central concern. None were agreed to.

What is considerably striking is the level of emotion portrayed in this Star Tribune article. Words like “ecstatic,” “happy,” and “tears of joy.”

There has been plenty of internet commentary (e.g.) about unions outliving their useful lives (maybe, maybe not). So what I’m wondering here is what members of the Minnesota Nurses Association think about their union? More importantly, the alluded-to joy in the Star Tribune article reflects a painful, stressful, and tumultuous time for Minnesota nurses–considering the imminent deal, is being a part of a union worth that emotion to them? Count me as an interested observer.

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