By Associated Press - Sunday, July 16, 2017

BOSTON (AP) - A Boston hospital where nurses and their supporters have been picketing while on strike says there were attacks on buses and replacement nurses early Sunday morning.

Nurses at a hotel boarding buses en route to Tufts Medical Center were met by protesters in the lobby and outside in the parking lot, said Rhonda Mann, a Tufts spokeswoman. She added that one picketer followed the bus to Tufts and continued the abuse.

One nurse was confronted by a picketer, who called her a “scab” and asked how she could sleep at night, Mann said. A scab is a person who takes the place of a striking worker.

“It was awful,” Mann said.

State police responded to the hotel and asked the protesters to leave because they didn’t have a permit.

Mann said once at Tufts, more picketers surrounded the bus and began to pound on it, “screaming at everybody in there.” She said the same picketer again confronted the same nurse, verbally abusing her.

“She said she was incredibly frightened,” Mann said of the nurse, who did not wish to speak to The Associated Press.

Mann said there was a third incident at a second hotel outside of Boston where a bus driver had coffee thrown at her. She said police responded.

The 24-hour strike by about 1,200 nurses with the Massachusetts Nurses Association ended Thursday. The nurses have been locked out by the hospital until Monday because about 320 temporary nurses hired to care for patients during the strike have a five-day contract.

“It’s not good,” Mann said. “It’s not OK. Standing in front of buses trying to prevent nurses who have to be here on time to take care of patients - that is not safe. That is not the safe practice the MNA says they support.”

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