New London, CT 11/29/13 Patty DeWald gives a hug to Luci Barlow as they greet one another while marching around Lawrence & Memorial Hospital Friday after as nearly 800 registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), healthcare technicians and technologists at L&M Hospital have been on strike since Wednesday over unfair labor practices that negatively impact patient care. The job action is the first of its kind in the facility’s 101-year history, and the first major work stoppage at a Connecticut hospital in three decades. Leaders of AFT Locals 5049 and 5051, which represent the professional caregivers, announced plans to commence the action after representatives of Lawrence & Memorial Corporation (LMC) on Tuesday refused to continue negotiations. DeWald, a LPN, has been with the hospital in the rehab department for 36 years, Barlow is a RN in the same department. Photo by JOHN WOIKE | woike@courant.com hc-hospital-strike-1129