New York Attorney General Steps in to Protect CWA Healthcare Workers on Strike

Last week, in a win for the striking healthcare workers at Catholic Health System’s Mercy Hospital in Buffalo, N.Y., New York State Attorney General Letitia James issued a Cease and Desist order to scab company Huffmaster. Huffmaster has been hired by the Catholic Health System to bring in strikebreakers and provide security. The Attorney General’s Labor Bureau found that Huffmaster is not licensed to operate as either an employment agency or a security service in New York State.

Nearly 2,000 healthcare workers, members of CWA Local 1133, are on Day 21 of their strike after the hospital system failed to reach a fair agreement on a new contract. Issues on the table include understaffing, equipment shortages, low wages, and healthcare costs.

The striking workers and their supporters have been ramping up their mobilization efforts and actions on the picket line. In the last couple of weeks, they have held a candlelight vigil and unveiled a "COVID Heroes Wall'' outside of the hospital with hundreds of photos and stories. Support for the strike has been steadily increasing with more and more supporters including other CWAers, elected officials, and members of other unions, such as the Buffalo Musicians Association, who played live music for the picketers, joining the picket line everyday.

Striking healthcare workers and supporters on the picket line outside Catholic Health System’s Mercy Hospital in Buffalo, N.Y.