Nurses from four cities file class action suits

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Nurses have filed class action lawsuits against major hospitals and healthcare chains in four cities. They are claiming their employers conspired to depress wages.

The nurses, who are from Chicago, Albany, NY, Memphis and San Antonio, allege that hospitals within each city exchanged nonpublic information about wage rates with other area hospitals. The purpose of sharing information, the nurses say, was to contain nurses' wages. The cases do not overlap and each city was separately involved in conspiracy, according to the nurses' lawyer, Dan Small.

Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, was present for a press conference disclosing the suits last week. But the SEIU -- which represents 84,000 nurses in the U.S. -- did not represent all the nurses. Some hospitals refuted the charges and others reportedly were not available for comment. The nurses are seeking back compensation and legal costs.