California hospital workers to begin striking Jan. 13

Hundreds of healthcare workers at Doctors Hospital of Riverside (Calif.) are expected to strike Jan. 13, according to the union that represents them

The Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West, which represents about 330 Doctors Hospital employees, cited staffing concerns as part of the reasoning for the walkout. Workers also alleged that they have experienced difficult working conditions and unfair labor practices.

"Even before COVID, we were massively understaffed. Now, it's just ridiculous," John Richardson, a pathology assistant at Doctors Hospital, said in a news release. "We've got patients waiting seven or eight hours just to get into a room because there isn't anybody to transport them there. We've got COVID rooms that aren't getting cleaned because there aren't enough housekeeping staff."

In a statement shared with Becker's, the hospital emphasized its commitment to providing safe care.

"Quality of care and patient safety are our most important priorities at Doctors Hospital of Riverside. This action by the union appears to be related to contract negotiations, which are ongoing, and we are optimistic that we will reach an agreement. We do not believe this action by the union is either warranted or helpful," the statement said.

The strike is expected to begin at 6 a.m. Jan. 13 and end after 24 hours. 

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