Backing off

Nurses drop plan to picket during grand opening of new Enloe tower

This Saturday (June 23) Enloe Medical Center is holding a grand opening celebration for the hospital’s recently completed five-story patient tower on Magnolia Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues. The ceremonies, which begin at 11 a.m., will include a health fair, an outdoor food court and free tote bags and T-shirts.

Earlier this week, Enloe administrators criticized the local nurses’ union, which is in contract negotiations with the hospital, for planning a picket at the same time to bring attention to their cause.

In a letter to staff, Enloe CEO Mike Wiltermood condemned the picketing and blamed the decision to do so on the “out of town, out of touch union leadership” of the California Nurses Association.

In a phone interview Wednesday (June 20), union chapter President David Welch told the CN&R the picketing had been called off, and the nurses would simply be leafleting. “We want to minimize the negative impact,” he explained, “but this was too good an opportunity to let people know about the negotiations to pass up.”