Workers to hold vigils to prevent 2 LA hospitals from closing

Will Urge Owner to Honor Community Obligations Made in 2014

LOS ANGELES – Healthcare workers will hold candlelight vigils outside two area hospitals – from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 25 at St. Francis Medical Center, 3630 E. Imperial Hwy. in Lynwood, and from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 27 at St. Vincent Medical Center, 2131 W. 3rd St. in Los Angeles – to protect the facilities from closure following the owner’s recent bankruptcy.

“Verity Health agreed to keep these hospitals open when it purchased them in 2014, and now that all appears in doubt,” said Mauricio Medina, a certified nursing assistant at St. Vincent Medical Center. “Verity has an obligation to the community and we will fight any plans to close the hospitals’ doors and kick out patients and workers.”

Verity Health owns six hospitals in California, and vigils are being held at four of them between Sept. 18 and Sept. 27.

In its August 2018 bankruptcy filing, Verity Health sought permission to sell its hospitals free from any “liens and encumbrances,” indicating it wants to nullify collective bargaining agreements with employees and the conditions of sale imposed by former California Attorney General Kamala Harris when Verity purchased the hospitals in 2014.

More than 420 employees at St. Vincent Medical Center and 840 workers at St. Francis Medical Center are members of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW), and they want Verity Health to honor all its obligations, including keeping the hospitals open, maintaining existing services, meeting pension obligations and maintaining current employment levels.

WHAT:          Workers will hold candlelight vigils to protect St. Francis Medical Center and St. Vincent Medical Center from closure following the owner’s recent filing for bankruptcy.

WHEN:          Tuesday, Sept. 25                              Thursday, Sept. 27

6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.                            6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

WHERE:       St. Francis Medical Center                 St. Vincent Medical Center

3630 E. Imperial Hwy.                       2131 W. 3rd St.

Lynwood, Calif. 90262                       Los Angeles, Calif. 90057

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SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) is one of the largest unions of hospital workers in the western United States with 95,000 members. Learn more at www.seiu-uhw.org.

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