Oregon hospital workers plan second strike

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Workers at McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center in Springfield, Ore., plan to strike for a second time starting in December, according to the union that represents them.

The Service Employees International Union Local 49 and the hospital have been in negotiations with a federal mediator following a strike in October

Despite this, workers allege unfair labor practices have continued and that McKenzie-Willamette has not addressed their safety concerns for patients and staff, the union said Nov. 30 in a news release.

SEIU Local 49 members plan to hold a five-day strike beginning at 7 a.m. Dec. 6.

During the strike, hospital operations will continue without interruption, and departments will be appropriately staffed, according to a statement from McKenzie-Willamette. Inpatient, outpatient and emergency services will remain available.

"MWMC has been in active mediation with the SEIU since October, seeking a resolution and new overall contract which expired Aug. 31," the statement reads. "The hospital continues to bargain in good faith and remains hopeful for a mutually beneficial agreement. The next contract mediation is scheduled for Dec. 1."

Meanwhile, McKenzie-Willamette said the hospital remains focused on safe patient care.

McKenzie-Willamette is owned by Brentwood, Tenn.-based Quorum Health Corp. SEIU Local 49 has more than 15,000 members in Oregon, Washington and Idaho, according to the union website. Members include licensed practical nurses, respiratory therapists, radiologic technologists, nursing assistants, phlebotomists, laboratory assistants, customer service representatives, food service workers and housekeeping.

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