The frontline healthcare workers at Prime St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, California are represented by SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) and United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals (UNAC/UHCP) labor unions.

On November 30, nine frontline healthcare workers delivered letters to Prime Healthcare Headquarters supporting their fight for improved staffing, wages, and working conditions at St. Francis Medical Center as part of a protected, concerted action as union members. Prime Healthcare operates St. Francis Medical Center and several other facilities throughout California and nationwide.

They were voluntarily admitted into the building by an employee, followed instructions to wait outside the premises when so directed, and promptly exited the building upon delivery of the letters. The nine healthcare workers were then pulled off the floor and suspended pending investigation.

Without further explanation or due process, they were fired in December. There was no opportunity for workers to contest allegations made against them, no fair and transparent investigatory process, and their union representatives were barred entry onto the hospital premises altogether, the union sees this denial of access as unlawful.

Our community cannot afford to lose any of these experienced and committed healthcare workers. For example, two of the fired workers are ultrasound technicians who hold crucial roles tied to American College of Radiation accreditations and Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS) licenses. One is the sole employee in the women’s imaging center possessing a valid RDMS license for breast ultrasounds, a vital procedure to investigate potential malignancies detected during X-rays.

Without her, the hospital is not authorized to conduct these ultrasounds, raising concerns about patient care and compliance with accreditation standards. Similarly, another holds the only valid RDMS license for vascular ultrasounds, essential for diagnosing conditions like blood clots or arterial blockages that could lead to strokes.

Terminating them would leave the hospital unable to perform these critical tests, necessitating patient referrals to other facilities.

SEIU-UHW and UNAC/UHCP have filed Unfair Labor Practice charges on these workers’ cases but we need more action.