The following is a statement from Tadzio Garcia, spokesperson for SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West, regarding the one-day labor strike at both Menifee and Hemet hospitals, Monday, October 13...
Yesterday we achieved an important milestone by standing for quality patient care.
We struck throughout the day we had support such as hospital volunteers refusing to cross the line and joining the picket line. One UHW member who joined the picket line said that management is driving away qualified and experienced caregivers, hiring travelers and registry who are more expensive and not as experience or qualified and who do not care as much about the hospital because they know they are just passing through.
UHW members from Riverside Community Hospital, Desert Regional Med Center, JFK Memorial, Kaiser Moreno Valley, and Kaiser West Los Angeles - came to support us and chanted "When you take on one of us, you take on all of us."
Community leaders lent their support including John Denver, Menifee City Council; Brian Christie, Hemet City Council; Carl Wood, candidate for the 65th assembly district, etc.
John Denver spoke about his experience as a patient of ours and said he looks forward to and is hopeful for continued quality care in the community.
Members of other unions honored our strike by joining the picket-line, such as the California Nurses Association, UFCW and SEIU121RN, who all said "we support you and join your fight to protect patient care."
Several delivery trucks wouldn't cross the line. Hemet management had to cross the street to pick up ice cream when a Teamsters truck wouldn't cross the line. At Menifee, a UPS delivery truck would not cross the picket line.
When we authorized the strike we hoped that management would come back to the bargaining table and bargain in good faith. Instead they continue to refuse our $4.3 million dollar in hospital savings while they spend millions on building cosmetics, such as new carpets and paint, etc.
Management wants us to accept contract proposals having nothing to do with bankruptcy and instead aimed at weakening our rights.
We have to hold the VHS Board of Directors accountable. They should do the right thing and support their employees.
Come to the Town Hall meeting and interview candidates. UHW members will make a decision on who to endorse in the upcoming VHS Board election. We can send them a message with our votes!
Town Hall Meeting to Endorse VHS Board of Directors
Thursday Oct. 16, 5:30pm
La Casa Vieja Restaurant
828 W. Florida Ave in Hemet
A couple of photos...
Menifee workers picketing in Menifee
Menifee workers picketing in Hemet