More than 35,000 striking nurses have picketed hospitals across Ireland, telling the government they can take no more.
They launched a series of strikes to get pay rises to stop a flight from the job. There is now only one application for every four vacancies. Workers want a 12 percent pay rise.
Following two 24-hour strikes last week, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) staged a strike on Tuesday and called another for Thursday this week.
And there are set to be another five strikes this month.
The government is openly worried that it will see other groups of workers strike for better pay. A national agreement means that the government can threaten to withdraw previous pay improvements because of the strike. But the strike is very popular and the government won’t risk attacking the nurses.
Emma, who has been in the job for two years, said, “A lot of people I graduated with are away now, there’s very few of them still here in the country.
“Why would you stay here if you can go to another country with better money, a better staff-patient ratio?”
Ben, picketing in Dublin, said, “It just feels like the government aren’t listening to us.
“We’re out, up and down the country, fighting the good fight for our patients, that’s why we’re doing it.”