Solidarity is Alive and Well

By Mary Turner

Mary Turner
Mary Turner
MNA President

MNA President


When 5,000 Allina nurses went on strike for seven days last month, I spoke to so many who were determined but anxious. Would the public understand why they made the difficult decision to strike, rather than accept Allina’s demand that they give up their affordable healthcare? Would the public understand that they had to stand up to Allina when they refused to discuss our issues, including safe staffing and violence?

If you had a chance to be at one of the five picket lines during the strike, you know that the public definitely understood why nurses were outside. The support we received from elected officials, other unions, friends and family, community and faith groups, patients and other nurses was overwhelming. People came from all over Minnesota, as well as Chicago and even China to join us on the picket lines. Food donations rolled in to keep picketers energized for the hard work of walking the line.

This outpouring of support showed Allina nurses that they are not in this fight alone. The old union saying “an injury to one is an injury to all” couldn’t have been more true. We can’t thank these supporters enough.

IMG_1116IMG_1116The experience of seeing our community surround us with support and solidarity during the strike re-emphasizes how important it is for us to show support for our friends when they need it. Over the years, nurses have turned out for picket lines, rallies, fundraisers and other events for our allies when we’ve been asked. During the Allina strike, some nurses from Unity even took a break from their picket line to show support for Teamsters on strike at U.S. Foods in Plymouth. Think about how much it meant to you to see all those friends on the picket line, and remember that there will be an opportunity to return the favor someday soon.

The following elected officials, candidates, friends, unions, businesses and community organizations showed support for the Allina nurses’ strike, June 19-25, by signing a public letter, walking the picket line, offering discounts, donating staff time, food or drinks and contributions to the strike fund:


Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman

Coon Rapids City Council Member Denise Klint

DFL Party Chair Ken Martin
DFL Party Vice Chair Marge Hoffa

Fridley City Council Member Robert Barnette

Lt. Governor Tina Smith

Minneapolis City Council Member Alondra Cano
Minneapolis City Council Member Lisa Bender
Minneapolis City Council Member Jacob Frey
Minneapolis City Council Member Elizabeth Glidden
Minneapolis City Council Member Cam Gordon
Minneapolis City Council Member Andrew Johnson
Minneapolis City Council Member Blong Yang

Nashwauk Mayor Ben DeNucci

Ramsey County Board Chair Victoria Reinhardt

State Representative Susan Allen
State Representative Joe Atkins
State Representative Connie Bernardy
State Representative Lyndon Carlson
State Representative Karen Clark
State Representative Jack Considine
State Representative Jim Davnie
State Representative Ray Dehn
State Representative Ron Erhardt
State Representative Peter Fischer
State Representative Peggy Flanagan
State Representative Mike Freiberg
State Representative Rick Hansen
State Representative Alice Hausman
State Representative Debra Hilstrom
State Representative Frank Hornstein
State Representative Melissa Hortman
State Representative Clark Johnson
State Representative Sheldon Johnson
State Representative Phyllis Kahn
State Representative Carolyn Laine
State Representative Tina Liebling
State Representative Leon Lillie
State Representative Diane Loeffler
State Representative Tim Mahoney
State Representative Sandra Masin
State Representative Rena Moran
State Representative Joe Mullery
State Representative Erin Murphy, RN
State Representative Michael Nelson
State Representative Jerry Newton
State Representative John Persell
State Representative Dave Pinto
State Representative Paul Rosenthal
State Representative Dan Schoen
State Representative Jennifer Schultz
State Representative Linda Slocum
State House Minority Leader Paul Thissen
State Representative Barb Yarusso
State Representative Cheryl Youakim

State Representative Candidate Jamie Becker-Finn
State Representative Candidate Patti Fritz
State Representative Candidate Paul Gammel
State Representative Candidate Andy Hillebregt
State Representative Candidate and former MNA member John Huot
State Representative Candidate Steve Kilburn
State Representative Candidate Erin Koegel
State Representative Candidate Al Kruse
State Representative Candidate Mary Kunesh-Podein
State Representative Candidate Ilhan Omar
State Representative Candidate Kevin Parker
State Representative Candidate Jen Peterson
State Representative Candidate Cortney Phillips
State Representative Candidate Lindsey Port
State Representative Candidate Erin May Quade
State Representative Candidate Karla Scapanski
State Representative Candidate Don Slaten
State Representative Candidate Tom Whiteside
State Representative Candidate Susan Witt

State Senator Jim Abeler
State Senator Jim Carlson
State Senator Richard Cohen
State Senator Kevin Dahle
State Senator Scott Dibble
State Senator Kari Dziedzic
State Senator Chris Eaton, RN
State Senator Jeff Hayden
State Senator John Hoffman
State Senator John Marty
State Senator Sandy Pappas
State Senator Ann Rest
State Senator Katie Sieben

State Senate Candidate Dr. Matt Klein
State Senate Candidate Phil Sterner
State Senate Candidate Susan Witt

St. Paul City Council Member Dan Bostrom
St. Paul City Council Member Amy Brendmoen
St. Paul City Council Member Rebecca Noecker
St. Paul City Council Member Jane Prince
St. Paul City Council Member Russ Stark
St. Paul City Council Member Dai Thao
St. Paul City Council Member Chris Tolbert

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman

Former St. Paul City Council Member Melvin Carter
Former St. Paul City Council Member Pat Harris?

U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison

U.S. Congressional Candidate David Snyder

Ray Waldron, Retired President of the MN AFL-CIO

Dr. Ray Scallen, retired physician with 60 years at Abbott, and World War 2 veteran


American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 5
AFSCME Council 65
AFSCME Local 2508
AFSCME Retiree Chapter
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1005
American Income Life Insurance
American Postal Workers Union
Anoka Hennepin Education Minnesota
BCTGM International
Blaine Police Officers
Broadway Bar and Pizza
Burger Moe’s
Burnsville Education Association
Carpenters Local 322
Centro de Tabajadores Unidos en Lucha (CTUL)
Common Roots
Communication Workers of America Minnesota State Council
Coon Rapids Police officers
East Lake Brewery
Education Minnesota
Farmington Education Minnesota
Firefighters Local 82
Fridley Police officers
Greater Minnesota Health Care Coalition
Green Party of Minnesota
Homes for Heroes
International Association of Machinists (IAM) Local 737
IAMAW Airline Local 1833
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
International Brotherhood of Teamsters Joint Council 32
International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 120
International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 320
International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 628
International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) Local 82
Ironworkers Union
Jewish Community Action
Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 563
Land Stewardship Project
The Learning Center Teachers, Ramsey
The Liffy
Mama’s Pizza
Manny’s Tortas
Minneapolis Federation of Teachers
Minneapolis Federation of Teachers Education Support Professionals
Minneapolis Firefighters Local 82
Minneapolis Police officers
Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation
Minnesota AFL-CIO
Minnesota AFL-CIO Retiree Council
Minnesota Association of Professional Employees (MAPE)
Minnesota School Employees Association
Minnesota State College Faculty/Education Minnesota
Minnesotans for a Fair Economy
Misfits Saloon
Nasseff Mechanical Contractors
National Association of Letter Carriers
National Nurses Organizing Committee Illinois
Neighborhoods Organizing for Change
Northeast Area Labor Council
Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless
Patisserie 46
People of Color Union Member (POCUM)
Plasterers Local 265
Prior Lake-Savage Education Minnesota
The Produce Exchange
PRMG Mortgage
Republic Services
Robbinsdale Federation of Teachers
Roofers and Waterproofers Local 96
SEIU Minnesota State Council
SEIU Healthcare Minnesota
SEIU Local 26
SEIU Local 284
St. Paul Federation of Teachers
St. Paul Police officers
St. Paul Regional Labor Federation
Take Action Minnesota
TK’s Coffee
Tom Reid’s
Toppers Pizza
Twin Cities Labor Chorus
Twin Cities Musicians Union
Union House Apparel
United Educators Credit Union
United Food and Commercial Workers Local 653
United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1189
United Steel Workers Local 11-75
United Transportation Union (UTU)
the ver.di at Charité (German nurses’ union)
West Area Labor Council
Working America Minnesota

MNA members from Allina Health Cambridge, Allina Health New Ulm, Allina Health Owatonna, Children’s Minneapolis, Children’s St. Paul, Essentia Health Duluth, Fairview Southdale, Fairview Riverside, HealthEast Bethesda, HealthEast St. Joseph’s, HealthEast St. John’s, Hennepin County Medical Center, Mayo Mankato, Methodist Hospital, Mercy Moose Lake, North Memorial Medical Center, Rice Memorial Hospital, Sanford Bemidji, St. Peter Security Hospital,

Nurses from non-MNA facilities including Regions, St. Croix Hospice, and even Changzhou Children’s Hospital in China

Current and former CNAs, CRNAs, Dietary, Housekeepers, HUCs, LPNs, MDs, Pharmacists, Surgical Techs, and other hospital staff

Current and former patients and their family members

Countless community members who walked the picket line, brought snacks and cold drinks, and gave encouragement

Cheryl and Bill Cox, who opened their home to MNA to be Unity Hospital strike headquarters



  1. Minnesota Nurses Association rocks!

  2. If this strike nonsense continues, Allina will be bankrupt and there will be far less jobs for nurses. Sad that there has been no response to Allina’s proposal to work things out from MNA. Also, the fact that other healthcare workers who are not nurses will be out of a job in order to pay for the strike as well as the the other demands.


  4. Allina has been the “bully” telling the nurses and I believe this to be a direct quote, “agree to transition to the Core plans and then we will talk ”
    Who expects a positive response from an opening statement like that? It makes me very sad to say I work for them.

  5. Sad Sally- you wouldn’t be an Allina corporate plant, would you?

  6. Not to be a nit picker but … does anyone find it ironic that SAD Sally spelled happiness incorrectly? Just sayin….

  7. Sad Sally didn’t spell it wrong, Michelle Donovan did. Which is even more ironic since the statement is EDUCATE YOURSELF.

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