FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 29, 2023
OAKLAND, Calif. — Dialysis workers at Fresenius Fletcher Parkway-El Cajon near San Diego, Fresenius Redlands in the Inland Empire, and Satellite Santa Teresa near San Jose have voted to unionize by joining SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) for improved patient care, safer working conditions, and better jobs.
Workers at these clinics voted overwhelmingly to unionize: 95 percent of voters at Fresenius Fletcher Parkway-El Cajon, 89 percent at Fresenius Redlands, and 88 percent at Satellite Santa Teresa voted in favor of joining SEIU-UHW.
With these victories, 24 groups of dialysis workers across the state have now voted to go union. Collectively, these are the first unionized dialysis workers in California with more holding union elections soon.
Workers across the industry are joining SEIU-UHW because of unsafe working conditions, low staffing levels, and wages far below what other healthcare workers earn — all of which threaten to undermine patient care and the ability to recruit and retain quality caregivers.
“My co-workers and I are proud to be part of this ‘Hot Union Summer’ because it gives us the power to do better by our patients and our families,” said Alexandra Martinez, a Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician at Satellite Santa Teresa. “We’re struggling to support our families because wages across the dialysis industry haven’t come close to keeping up with the cost of living. So many of us are going union now to join contract negotiations, which have already begun. We know we’ll have more power at the bargaining table to improve patient care and jobs if we’re all united.”
Fifteen of the 24 groups of dialysis workers who have voted to unionize are employed by Fresenius Medical Care. In 2021, Fresenius made $1.3 billion in profits and paid its CEO nearly $6 million in compensation.
Nine of the newly unionized groups of dialysis workers are owned by Satellite Healthcare, which made profits of $17.2 million in California alone in 2021 and paid its CEO $1.4 million in compensation.
These wins are part of a historic unionization wave sweeping through California’s dialysis industry. The staff at these three clinics join hundreds of dialysis workers statewide who have voted to unite in SEIU-UHW since December — from San Diego, San Bernardino, Ventura, and Riverside Counties to the Bay Area to the Sacramento region.
These victories are also part of a broader, national wave of unionization in sectors as diverse as Amazon warehouses and Starbucks where workers are taking a stand against poor working conditions, low wages, and exorbitant corporate profits and executive pay.
The dialysis workers at Fresenius Fletcher Parkway-El Cajon, Fresenius Redlands, and Satellite Santa Teresa who voted to join SEIU-UHW include registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses, patient care technicians, certified clinical hemodialysis technicians, and receptionists.
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SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) is a healthcare justice union of more than 100,000 healthcare workers, patients, and healthcare activists united to ensure affordable, accessible, high-quality care for all Californians, provided by valued and respected healthcare workers. Learn more at www.seiu-uhw.org.