Nurses at 3 SoCal hospitals begin weekend-long strike through the Thanksgiving holiday

Unionized nurses at West Hills Hospital walked off the job Wednesday, saying that they're fed up with working conditions after six months of negotiations with the facility's corporate ownership.

According to officials, the strike is planned to continue until Monday morning.

The West Hills walkout coincides with similar strikes at both Riverside Community Hospital and Los Robles Regional Medical Center in Thousand Oaks. All three are owned by Nashville-based Healthcare Corporation of America (HCA).

Pickets are expected to run from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. daily over the five-day period, with curtailed hours on Thanksgiving.

"It's evident the labor union has not taken these sessions seriously and has intended to strike all along, despite our genuine attempts at finding common ground," said HCA Healthcare Southern California in a statement released Wednesday. "Our hospitals have taken proactive measures to provide high-quality health care for our patients and our communities…there will be no closure of any services at this time."

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According to the union, the picketing began in response to stalled labor negotiations which started in May of this year.

Nurses claim that hospital understaffing is a "system-wide crisis."

The nurses' union claims that hundreds of staffing violations have taken place over the past three years at each of the medical facilities. According to the union, other complaints include deficient security to prevent workplace violence, interference with union reps entering certain medical facilities and "disinformation" circulated by administrators related to a previous work stoppage in 2020.

HCA insists that its focus is to "care for our patients with the same dedication and excellence as always," throughout the duration of this strike.

City News Service contributed to this report.