Buff State professor: Pandemic may play role in increase in strikes

Catholic Health Hospital Strike

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Buffalo State College Economic and Finance Department Chair Fred Floss says “The pandemic has made it a flashpoint so that a lot of different groups are going on strike coming out of the pandemic.”

Friday became Day 15 of the Mercy Hospital strike, and there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight.

Workers on the picket line are now getting strike pay. And as it drags on, some experts are shedding light on the possible triggers of the walk-out.

Floss says it’s not unexpected to see strikes, especially in the healthcare industry. He says staffing at hospitals and nursing homes has dropped drastically over the past five to ten years.

And now, many of the remaining workers are fighting back. It’s no surprise that people are hearing of more and more strikes.

But Floss says the pandemic may play a role.

“Given all of the different issues that have happened, not only with workers, but with the businesses themselves where they’re worried whether they’re going to make their own profits, or how much profit they’re going to make, it means this whole area is going to be combustible,” Floss says.

As of Friday, Catholic Health workers on strike became eligible for unemployment.

Catholic Health Hospital Strike

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