Workers at California hospital hold strike

Members of UE Local 1004 held a strike March 20 at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia, Calif., according to The Santa Clarita Valley Signal.

The union represents about 700 workers at the hospital, including patient care attendants, techs and other support staff, according to the publication. Henry Mayo has more than 1,800 employees total.

Union members have been in negotiations with the hospital for months and announced their plans to hold a one-day strike in recent weeks. Workers' last contract expired Jan. 31. 

Hospital administrators "say that they are bargaining in good faith, but they're refused a few times to come and sit across from us," surgical tech Stacy Suarez said, according to The Santa Clarita Valley Signal. "They refuse to come into our conference area to talk about any further proposals. We don't think that's bargaining in good faith."

Henry Mayo Newhall pushed back against the claims in a statement shared with the publication.

The statement said: "We want to be clear: We did not walk away from the bargaining table. The union did. At this time, the union has not requested any additional bargaining dates. We remain fully committed to bargaining in good faith until we reach a new agreement." 

The union has also claimed that hospital administration prohibited workers from wearing union insignia or discussing negotiations; threatened reprisals against workers for exercising their rights to concerted union activity; and interfered with the rights of members of the union bargaining committee to participate in contract talks.

In the statement shared with The Santa Clarita Valley Signal, Henry Mayo Newhall also denied those claims, saying it "categorically [denies] violating the rights of any union members." 

According to the publication, about 100 employees joined the March 20 demonstration.

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