SPRINGFIED, Ore. -- After failing to reach a deal after months of negotiations, more than 400 unionized frontline healthcare workers at McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center officially went on strike at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning.
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 49 said the workers will be on strike from now until 7 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 7. Members will be on the strike line outside the hospital from 6 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The union includes hundreds of frontline healthcare workers including housekeepers, certified nursing assistants, MRI technicians, respiratory therapists, pharmacy technicians and more.
“I am out here to advocate for my patients and to vocalize for them and their safety and unite along with my coworkers in going on strike against McKenzie-Willamette, and their unfair practice that they've been doing against their workers,” said Rachael Gordon, a certified nursing assistant.
McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center said Friday it will implement its contingency operations plan that will limit some services during the strike.
"Care for patients already in our hospital will not be impacted, and our emergency room remains available to accept walk-in patients," said Jana Waterman, hospital spokeswoman. "McKenzie-Willamette remains committed to bargaining in good faith and reaching a mutually beneficial agreement with the SEIU," she said.