John Muir strikers return to work; contract dispute remains unresolved

Workers on strike at John Muir Medical Center, Walnut Creek (Calif.), have left their picket site outside the hospital and many have returned to work, according to a Contra Costa Times report.

The strikers, who are represented by Stationary Engineers Local 39, part of the International Union of Operating Engineers, are 19 skilled maintenance employees who run and maintain JMMC's power plant, boilers, chillers, electrical and plumbing systems.

Out of the 19 employees, 11 have returned to work, and the hospital has hired six new maintenance employees, hospital spokesman Ben Drew said, according to the report. Earlier this year, the workers were given an ultimatum to return to work or risk being replaced.

Although many of the strikers have returned to work, they are still without a contract.

Negotiations have been stalled since July, when JMMC made its final offer to the workers, Lisa Foust, the hospital's senior vice president for human resources, told the Contra Costa Times.

According to the report, a key issue in contract negotiations has been the workers' bid to change to the more lucrative pension plan given to their counterparts at John Muir Medical Center, Concord (Calif.).


More articles on workforce and labor management:

Nurses protest staffing levels at Pennsylvania hospital
Nurses to strike at Shore Medical Center
Ohio hospital plans job fair, seeks to hire more than 50 workers: 4 things to know



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