ANTIOCH, Calif. (KGO) -- Union workers walked off the job at Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch at 5 a.m. Monday. Union leaders say 350 workers are on strike.
Workers say they are tired of being understaffed and want to make a statement that conditions are dire for caregivers and patients.
"We are just trying to put our foot down and say enough is enough," ER Technician Angel Torres said on the picket line.
He said employees on strike are ER and X-ray techs, respiratory therapists, dieticians and clerical workers.
"The RNs are still in there, and they support us as well, the physicians are in there," Torres said.
Workers chanted "Sutter, Sutter you can't hide! We can see your greedy side!" on the picket line.
Union leaders say they gave the hospital 10 days notice, as required. Workers yelled "Scabs!" at a bus presumably bringing in replacement workers at 5:00 am, just as the workers were walking out.
Sutter released a statement saying:
"We are disappointed union leaders have chosen to distract from patient care by taking this action, especially at a time when we should be focusing our attention on caring for our community.
The union has proved its disregard for our patients and communities by engaging in a strike while refusing to make a good faith effort to reach a deal. It's a clear statement that the union is more interested in flexing its political power than reaching a fair agreement on behalf of its members.
We stand by our offer, and SEIU should too: they negotiated this contract, were confident enough to place it on a ballot, and it was recently approved by more than 3,000 employees at seven other SEIU-represented hospitals across our system.
We value our caregivers and their continued commitment to compassionate patient care in the face of an unprecedented health crisis, which is why our proposed contract guaranteed pay and benefits that are as good or better than others in the area:
- 13% salary increase over four years: 3% yearly salary increases each year for 3 years and a 4% increase in year 4
- 100% employer paid health coverage for employees and their families
- Funding to support access for our employees to education, credentialing and growth opportunities and creates a pipeline for new hires