BOSTON (WHDH) - Sunday is the final day of the nurses’ strike and lockout at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.
As protesters continued for the fifth day, the hospital said things turned violent early Sunday morning.
The hospital claims there were three separate incidents around 5:30 a.m. Sunday. The worst of them involves buses carrying replacement nurses being attacked by protesters.
“At a couple of the hotels where the replacement nurses had been staying there were protesters shouting profanities and pounding on the buses throwing coffee and trying to intimidate the nurses in the buses that we count on,” said Chief Nursing Officer at Tufts Medical Center, Therese Hudson-Jinks.
The hospital also claimed that protesters were screaming and pounding on a bus during an incident at a separate hotel. They said State Police were called in.
State Police say they did not respond to any attack, but did disperse 22 protesters who were picketing outside one of the hotels without a permit. A spokesman for the State Police went on to say, “The protesters were cooperative and dispersed without incident. There was no violence or throwing of any objects.”
The Massachusetts Nurses Association told 7News it was not aware of the incidents until the media brought it to their attention. The union says the allegations are taking away attention from a strike that has been peaceful so far.
Tufts Medical Center initially released the following statement Sunday morning:
This morning, Massachusetts Nurses Association supporters attacked buses trying to bring nurses to work at Tufts Medical Center. Supporters threw coffee on bus drivers, pounded on windows and stood in front of the buses as they tried to leave. Police were called in to restore order. The MNA says it stands for safety yet it physically threatened the safety of nursing professionals with these reprehensible actions. They also threatened safe patient care by attempting to delay nurses reaching their patients. We condemn this behavior and ask that leaders who know that Boston is better than this to speak out against this dangerous activity.
The Massachusetts Nurses Association also officially released a statement Sunday that reads in part:
The MNA and its elected leaders were not aware of this incident, which involved members of outside organizations, until it was brought to our attention this morning by local media. In being made aware of this situation, we want to express that the MNA does not advocate the use of violence. It is dedicated to meeting the needs of patients throughout the Commonwealth by caring for and protecting them, be that at Tufts Medical Center or in community hospitals on the other side of the state. That has not and will not change, and we will continue with our peaceful picketing and family-centered activities as we head into the final 24 hours of this forced lock out.
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