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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Nurses plan to walk picket lines on Christmas

Advertiser Staff

No new talks are scheduled between the 1,400 nurses on strike and three Honolulu hospitals, but the nurses plan to serenade each other with Christmas carols as they walk the picket line for a third week.

About 800 nurses at The Queen's Medical Center, along with 600 others at St. Francis and Kuakini medical centers, have picketed the hospitals around the clock, but many plan to take the holiday off.

"It will be abbreviated at the hospitals simply to give as many nurses as possible an opportunity to be with their families," said Scott Foster, spokesman for the Hawai'i Nurses' Association. "That in itself is very unusual because normally it's the nurses who miss Christmas."

Yesterday afternoon, the Queen's nurses were joined by about 75 members of other unions on the picket line.

"We want to boost up their morale, especially because it's Christmas," said Clarence Baijo, of Local 5 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union.