Beginning this morning at 6:00 AM the member of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 1199 are on strike against Providence St. Peter’s Hospital. Workers walked off the job for one week in protest of cuts to their healthcare benefits in January, which “took healthcare funds away from front-line care and out of the South Sound, diverting the money instead to pad the bottom line”, according to the SEIU website. A message seeking support for the striking workers sent out yesterday says “Going on strike is the last thing we want to do, but we need to send a strong message to Providence—a 5-state healthcare giant—that our community won’t take its healthcare cuts, its cuts to our time off with our families, or its unfair labor practices. We cannot allow the second largest employer in Olympia—a healthcare employer receiving public funds—to roll back access for its own employees and lower the standard for affordability.” You can read more about the issues surrounding the strike and what you can do to help HERE.
There is a rally to show support for the striking workers scheduled for 5:00 PM this afternoon (Monday, March 11). Calvin Johnson will be performing and there will be speakers and general rabble-rousing. Sounds like fun! Come join us this afternoon, or stop by the picket line any time this week.