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Striking Redwood City hospital workers could lose health benefits

nurses strike zach copley.jpg
Zach Copley
/
Flickr / Creative Commons

Members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union say they are seeking increased wages, lower patient-to-caregiver ratios and better staff retention.

Organizers said 300 union members went on strike July 18th and have been picketing at the hospital daily.

Union members gathered at the hospital Monday to protest hospital management's announcement that striking workers would have their health benefits suspended at the end of July.

Dignity Health, which owns Sequoia Hospital, said in an email statement that the hospital system's health plan requires employees to work a full schedule and confirmed those on strike would lose access to the benefit plan.

The health care provider also said in the statement that employees would have their health care restored once they resume work. The union said the move was unnecessary and was designed to break the strike.

Workers on strike include nurses' assistants, surgical technicians, respiratory therapists, housekeepers, cooks and others.