Lockout Ends at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital

Dec 18, 2013

There's been a continuous picket outside the hospital's New London campus during the strike and the subsequent lockout.
Credit Harriet Jones

Nurses and technicians go back to work Thursday at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London, after the hospital lifted its lockout order.

The move comes after a stand off of more than two weeks. Staff were locked out over the Thanksgiving weekend following a four-day strike.

The underlying dispute over job security language in a new three-year contract has not yet been resolved. Hospital spokesman Michael O'Farrell told WNPR, "It was clear we weren't going to get over this hump in a short period of time. We adjusted our proposal on the job security language, and that was rejected by the union on the 16th. Seeing that that was still such a difficult issue for us to come to agreement on, we thought this was the right decision, and the right time to bring the staff back."

The two unions involved have hailed the move as a victory. President of the nurses union, Lisa D'Abrosca, said she and her colleagues will be relieved to get back to work. "My co-workers and fellow union members are amazing people," she said, "and they all stood together and never gave up. We knew what we believed in and we stood up for it."

Workers will return under the terms of the expired contract. No date has been set for fresh talks.