LA healthcare workers hit the picket lines

Healthcare workers from the National Union of Healthcare Workers authorized pickets outside of Keck Hospital of USC and USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center Wednesday.

The workers include vocational nurses, nursing assistants, medical technicians, dietary staff, respiratory therapists, and housekeepers. They are calling for a "fair contract."

The workers said they want a contract to help address "low pay and chronic understaffing." They also said the university seeks to cut healthcare benefits, and subcontract union jobs.

"Keck Medicine of USC is currently engaged in contract negotiations with the National Union of Healthcare Workers, which represents nursing assistants, respiratory therapists, medical technicians, licensed vocational nurses and other staff," Keck USC said in a released statement.

The statement continued to say, "Pickets can be common during contract negotiations, and we fully respect our caregivers’ right to participate.   During the picket, our locations will be fully staffed, and
patients and their loved ones can continue to count on the world-class care they expect from Keck Medicine of USC.   We understand how important our contracts are to our caregivers and are committed to negotiating in good faith to reach agreements that are fair, provide competitive pay and benefits, and support our caregivers."