Thousands of University of California health care workers across the state -- including San Diego and La Jolla -- manned picket lines Wednesday alleging unfair labor practices in a job action UC officials said reduces patients to "bargaining chips" in a work dispute.
Patient care technical workers and service workers represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299 will picket throughout the day at hospitals and clinics statewide, including at UC San Diego Medical Center Thornton Hospital and UC San Diego Medical Center-Hillcrest. The union represents more than 22,000 UC hospital workers across the state.
Union officials accuse hospital administrators of harassing and intimidating workers who advocated for "safe staffing standards" by taking part in a two-day walkout in May.
"Our members have both the legal right and more responsibility to stand up for the safety of the students and patients we serve," said AFSCME 3299 President Kathryn Lybarger. "By attempting to silence workers, UC hasn't just repeatedly broken the law -- it has willfully endangered all who come to UC to learn, to heal and to build a better life for their families."