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Healthcare Workers United Spearhead Protest at MUSC Board of Trustees Meeting
2/18/2015 4:32:07 PM

The Coalition founder Pastor Thomas Dixon and ILA Local 1422 Co-Chair Leonard Riley, Jr. Leonard Riley speak with the media at the protest on Friday. Photo by Kieran Taylor
Forty hospital workers and area activists descended upon MUSC’s Board of Trustees on Friday, February 13th to demand an end to job discrimination and a $15 an hour minimum wage for all healthcare workers.

Protestors stood silently for thirty minutes as MUSC’s new Chief Diversity Officer Anton Gunn presented on the Affordable Care Act and board members were updated on the recent measles outbreak. Protest leaders, including veterans of the hospital strike of 1969 and other freedom movements of the 1960s and 1970s, are demanding that the hospital reinstate Christine G. Nelson, a 19-year MUSC employee who they contend was fired last year for organizing on behalf of coworkers and patients.

Protesters dismiss MUSC current diversity initiative as inadequate and argue that the hospital is protecting vicious and incompetent managers. “We are going to be an irritant until they change their policies and practices,” said Leonard Riley of the Carolina Alliance for Fair Employment. The demonstration was spearheaded by Healthcare Workers’ United and supported by a wide range of area groups and trade unionists.

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