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Labor Organizing In A Pandemic: Asheville Nurses Await A Consequential Union Decision

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Christine Rucker-Putnam
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Strikes and labor organizing are on the rise as essential workers grapple with safety concerns while on the job. Meatpacking plants, city sanitation and healthcare are some of the industries where workers are striking or organizing.

Host Frank Stasio speaks with senior labor reporter and founder of Payday Report Mike Elk about national labor organizing trends since the start of the pandemic. Here in North Carolina, nurses employed by one of the state’s largest health systems, Mission Health, are pushing to unionize. Freelance reporter Jonathan Michels joins the conversation to share the conflict between nurses and HCA Healthcare in Asheville, which owns Mission Health. And Trisha Stevenson, an emergency department nurse at Mission Hospital in Asheville, shares what is happening on the ground as she and her colleagues look for more power and representation.

Josie Taris left her home in Fayetteville in 2014 to study journalism at Northwestern University. There, she took a class called Journalism of Empathy and found her passion in audio storytelling. She hopes every story she produces challenges the audience's preconceptions of the world. After spending the summer of 2018 working in communications for a Chicago nonprofit, she decided to come home to work for the station she grew up listening to. When she's not working, Josie is likely rooting for the Chicago Cubs or petting every dog she passes on the street.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.