For Immediate Release:
September 2, 2021
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles City Council has unanimously passed a resolution condemning Dignity Health’s unfair treatment of its security officers and supporting the right of the officers to form their union in SEIU–United Healthcare Workers West.
With the 14-0 vote, the council joins dozens of other elected bodies and leaders — including U.S. Senator Alex Padilla — in criticizing Dignity Health for its mistreatment of the security officers who are the first line of defense for patients and caregivers across the chain’s facilities.
“Recently a hostile individual came into the hospital with a gun. We were lucky no one was shot,” said Roger Stallworth, a security officer at Dignity California Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles. “But hospital management didn’t take steps to avoid such a situation in the future and they didn’t offer us any support. They just don’t seem to take the safety of patients and workers seriously.”
The resolution calls out Dignity Health for placing security officers at increased risk of COVID-19 infection due to lack of personal protective equipment and inadequate pandemic safety protocols. The resolution also points out that “the vast majority of officers have signed union authorization cards to join SEIU-UHW” in order to address these and other problems — yet Dignity Health refuses to recognize these officers as members of the union.
Complaints have been filed recently against Dignity Health with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) due to numerous safety violations, including routine failures to screen people entering the hospital, failure to enforce social distancing rules, failure to train security guards on COVID-19 protocols, and failure to report COVID-19 cases to security guards with potential exposure.
CommonSpirit/Dignity Health made $2.7 billion in profits in the last half of 2020, has received $1.3 billion in federal pandemic relief funds, pays the company CEO over $11 million a year, and pays 28 executives over $1 million a year.
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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.