USC University Hospital Workers Continue to Strike [Updated]
[Updated, Oct.13, 11:23 a.m. PDT | Employees of the Keck Medical Center of USC launched a 24-hour strike to pressure management for a fairer contract. The picketing began at the medical center at 6 a.m. on Wednesday and is scheduled to end at 6 p.m. Thursday.]
Specifically, they are protesting conditions that "compromise patient care" and plans to impose a one-year wage freeze. However, Keck management said it would not be able to run the facilities if these emloyees strike. USC medical employees, including respiratory care practionoers, radiology technologists, surgical technicians and housekeepers, are participating in the strike.
Hospital employees have been bargaining with hospital management for a new contract since August 2010, saying that the short-staffing issues compromise patient care.
"We have activated a plan to ensure smooth operations and the safe working environment that our patients, families and employees expect from us every day," responded hospital CEO Mitch Creem, adding that the plan includes "adequate, qualified staffing" and extra security.
Over the last 3 years, Keck Medical Center has received $250 million in donations and commitments of $150 million.
However, the hospital has proposed implementing a one-year wage freeze on hosptial employees.
The federal government has issued complaints of unfair labor practices at Keck Medical Center, and a hearing is scheduled for Oct. 24th.
The National Union of Healthcare Workers represents the workers at Keck Medical Center.