After a $5.3 Billion Federal Bailout, Workers say HCA still not providing adequate PPE despite multiple deaths from COVID-19 exposure
[7-16-20] RIVERSIDE, CA – Staff at HCA Healthcare’s Riverside Community Hospital will hold a picket from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, July 17 at the hospital, 4445 Magnolia Ave. Riverside, to protest safety concerns and a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) as they take care of COVID-19 patients during the pandemic.
HCA Healthcare has received more than $5.3 billion in taxpayer-funded coronavirus relief funds and had gross revenues of more than $12 billion in the first quarter of 2020.
“We’re risking our lives every single day,” said Raymond Valdivia, a CNA at HCA’s Riverside Community Hospital. “But HCA management isn’t giving us the PPE we need or telling us if we’ve been exposed to COVID-19, even after two co-workers died from exposure and more are coming down with the virus.
“It’s not safe for us or our patients. Do we have to see more hospital workers die while HCA collects billions from tax-payer bailouts?”
Workers report widespread shortages of PPE and the unsafe recycling of single-use equipment like masks and gloves. Lack of PPE has led to multiple caregivers at the hospital testing positive for COVID-19, workers say. Two workers have already died from the virus – Rosa Luna, a housekeeper of 25 years, and Sally Lara, a laboratory assistant who came out of retirement to work at Riverside Community Hospital during the pandemic.
The action will be held with social distancing, and participants will be required to wear masks.
WHAT: Healthcare Workers Picket, Protest Lack of PPE and Safety for Workers and Patients
WHEN: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday, July 17.
WHERE: Riverside Community Hospital, 4445 Magnolia Ave., Riverside.
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SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) is one of the largest unions of hospital workers in the United States, with 97,000 members. Learn more at www.seiu-uhw.org.