SEIU 721-Represented Healthcare Workers Will Be Joined by Clergy, Patients, and Community on the Picket Line; Bold Action Comes in Response to Watts Health Center’s Repeated Labor Law Violations, Including Threats to Employees and Surveillance of Union Activity
LOS ANGELES — Watts Health Center employees are set to walk off the job Wednesday morning in an historic Unfair Labor Practice strike to protect public health and patient safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Their escalation comes after allegations of rampant law-breaking on the part of Watts Health Center, including threats to employees, surveillance of union activity, and denying union staff access to frontline workers.
For over 50 years, Watts Health Center has been a cornerstone of the South LA community, providing life-saving care to the region’s most vulnerable low-income residents. When the COVID-19 pandemic began to sweep through South Los Angeles neighborhoods, Watts workers were among the first on the frontlines providing testing and care to local residents.
At the same time, Watts management has proposed cutting employee sick time and raising the cost of dependent healthcare coverage, even as multiple novel coronavirus outbreaks spread throughout Watts Health Care facilities. The grave threats faced by Watts workers and patients, paired with management’s all-out union-busting campaign, led workers to authorize an Unfair Labor Practice Strike just weeks ago with an unprecedented 100% Yes vote.
Watts Healthcare workers reflect the community they serve, with the workforce composed mostly of working-class black and brown women. Their steadfast commitment to community health is borne out of deep ties to the surrounding area, with many living and working in Watts for decades. The disrespect leveled toward Watts workers at the hands of management signals the administration’s disregard not only for their own workers, but for the Watts community at large.
Workers will be joined on the picket line Wednesday by labor, community, and clergy allies.
WHO: Watts Health Center workers, faith leaders, community members.
WHAT: Watts Health Center workers on strike for public health
WHEN: Wednesday, April 14, 2021, 6:30AM: Picket Line Begins, 12:00 PM: Press Conference and Rally
WHERE: 10300 Compton Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90002
CONTACT: Roxane Marquez (213) 705-1078Download PDF