“I think they’re setting us up to get screwed”: Unions move to shut down multiple health care struggles in California

The Steering Committee of Rank-and-File Nurses will be meeting this Sunday, June 26, at 11:00 a.m. Pacific/2:00 p.m. Eastern. We invite all California nurses and health care workers everywhere to register and join this important meeting.

Yesterday, a number of one-day strikes took place at several health care facilities in California, including Kaiser Los Angeles Medical Center, AHMC Seton Medical Center in Daly City and Shasta Regional Medical Center in Redding.

A strike at Long Beach Medical Center (LBMC) was called off on Wednesday, along with another strike at Palomar Hospital in the North County of San Diego. In both cases, the California Nurses Association (CNA) announced that agreements had been reached between the union and hospital management, which the union is attempting to ram through as quickly as possible.

The agreements came only hours before the one-day strikes were set to begin. Earlier this month, nurses and other health care staff at Palomar Health voted by 96 percent to authorize a strike over staff shortages, unsustainable patient-to-nurse ratios, and the need for an increase in wages due to the sharp rise in inflation.

Palomar nurses who spoke to the World Socialist Web Site were strongly in support of a strike, despite knowing that they would not be receiving strike pay.

Prior to the calling off of the strike, one nurse from Palomar Health told the WSWS that the hospital was preparing to bring in strike-breakers, paying each $200- $300 per hour. “Instead of paying them, why doesn’t the hospital invest that money in their nurses?”

Nurses are also fighting against the medical institutions’ attempt to contract out certain jobs in an effort to cut costs.

The CNA, however, did everything it could to avoid this strike, posting a press release late Wednesday night announcing that the strike had been “averted.”

Nurses and other health care staff at Palomar Health had been working without a contract since March, and many workers have left due to burnout or in search of better wages. Negotiations have been ongoing for the past 14 months.


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