Only the nurses at our hospital can decide to go on strike. 98% of contracts are settled without a strike. They are a last resort. When nurses do decide to exercise their right, as American workers, to strike, they do so democratically–by voting on it. It is not a decision that is made rashly. Strikes are only effective if everyone participates, so they are discussed and planned meticulously, far in advance. Nurses usually set a high bar for approval for a strike vote: 90% or higher. When nurses do vote to go on strike they send a 10-day notice to the hospital so that the hospital can arrange for (expensive) replacement nurses who look after the patients to the best of their ability. Most strikes are only for one or two days, but because the replacement nurses have 5-day contracts, the nurses are “locked out” by management for the remaining days. By law, nurses cannot be permanently replaced for going on strike if the hospital has committed an unfair labor practice; union nurses are careful to only call for a strike when a hospital has done so. In 2019, 13,000 nurses in NYC won significant improvements in staffing, including a $100 million fund to hire more nurses, simply by the threat of a strike.