Local clergy demonstrate support for Tenet workers

NewsApril 27, 2021

NUHW members at Tenet Healthcare hospitals in Southern California received strong support from local clergy for the launch of their “Don’t Call Me a Hero” campaign.

The campaign is focused on making Tenet, a Fortune 500 company, honor the sacrifices and dedication of its workers over the past year with contracts that provide livable wages, affordable health care, and safe working environments with sufficient staffing and PPE.

Despite having more than $2 billion in cash reserves, Tenet subcontracts out cleaning and food services at its hospitals in Fountain Valley, Lakewood and Los Alamitos. These subcontracted workers make far less than their counterparts, who work directly at Tenet hospitals. Many of them could not even afford healthcare even as they cleaned COVID-19 units and delivered food to COVID-19 patients during the pandemic.

Members of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice, a Southern California social justice organization, recently held a Zoom community Town Hall to listen to workers and learn about how they can help their campaign.

The meeting came on the heels of a letter signed by 40 CLUE clergy and lay leaders to the CEOs of all three Tenet Hospitals demanding justice for the workers whose jobs are subcontracted out to the firm, Compass.

We believe you need to do more than just call our hospital workers heroes. We ask that you bring the housekeeping and dietary worker wages up to $18.20 to match that of Tenet workers as well as their more affordable health insurance benefits. We ask that you end the subcontracting and bring the Compass members in-house. No frontline worker should ever be treated second class.

CLUE clergy leaders have also been participating in bargaining sessions to demonstrate the breadth of community support for Tenet workers. Meanwhile, Tenet workers have taken to social media telling community members about their struggle to win a contract that protects their health and honors their commitment during the pandemic.

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