Nearly 500 healthcare workers at LA’s Providence San Pedro Hospital vote to join NUHW
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, Oct. 19
SAN PEDRO, Calif. — Southern California’s Hot Labor Summer is extending into fall with nearly 500 workers at a Providence hospital in Los Angeles voting to become members of the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW). Workers at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Pedro voted 306 to 80 to form a union in an election that took place Tuesday and Wednesday at the hospital.
Providence is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit health systems, with 51 hospitals and more than 900 clinics. It operates several non-union hospitals in Southern California and has come under fire over the past year for aggressively trying to collect payments from patients who should have qualified for charity care.
Workers at Providence San Pedro started organizing with NUHW shortly after union members at Providence Cedars Sinai Tarzana Medical Center won a contract earlier this year that will increase wages by an average of 40 percent. Overall, the newly unionized workforce at Providence San Pedro will consist of approximately 470 workers, including nursing assistants, respiratory therapists, housekeepers, licensed vocational nurses and medical technicians. Prior to the election, registered nurses were the only unionized workers at Providence San Pedro.
“We’ve seen what a union can do to improve a hospital for workers and patients,” said Dominga Pineda, a certified nursing assistant at Providence San Pedro. “There’s a big movement happening for workers to have more power on the job, and we’re excited to start advocating for safe staffing and fair wages that will keep dedicated caregivers serving our community.”
With the organizing victory at San Pedro, a 231-bed hospital near Long Beach, NUHW now represents approximately 3,000 Providence workers at five hospitals in Northern California and two hospitals in Southern California. Workers at all of the facilities have raised concerns about severe staffing shortages that put patient care at risk.
“We’ve seen an explosion of new organizing since the pandemic when healthcare workers learned that they couldn’t trust hospital chains like Providence to safely-staff their hospitals,” NUHW President Sal Rosselli said. “This is a victory in the fight to make one of the biggest hospital chains in California respect its workers and provide the best possible care to patients.”
The National Union of Healthcare Workers is a member-led movement that represents more than 17,000 healthcare workers in California and Hawai’i.