This is the fifth group of dialysis workers in the San Diego region to unionize and the 17th group to do so statewide. Collectively, these are the first unionized dialysis workers in California with more holding union elections soon.
Workers across the industry are voting to unionize 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.
“Dialysis workers throughout this region are going union because our patients and our families deserve better,” saidRodrigo Parks, a patient care technician at Fresenius Chula Vista. “Our patients are hurting because we’re so understaffed that we can’t give them the time and attention they require. Our families are hurting because we can’t keep up with the cost of living — even though we work grueling hours in intense conditions. Now that we’re union we have the power to win dignity for our patients, our loved ones, and ourselves.”
Twelve of the 17 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.
This win is part of a historic unionization wave sweeping through California’s dialysis industry. Hundreds of dialysis workers statewide have voted to unite in SEIU-UHW since December from San Diego to San Bernardino and Ventura Counties to the Bay Area and Sacramento.
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 Chula Vista who voted to unionize include registered nurses, patient care technicians, licensed vocational nurses, receptionists, and secretaries.
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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.