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  The picket line at CPMC, California campus. Among those on strike are LVN's, surgery techs, ortho techs, EVS, Central Processing and Central Distribution, CNA's, Rehab Aides, and Nutrition Services. Clerical workers are not yet in the union at Sutter CPMC.


The "Bargaining in Bad Faith" and "Unfair Labor Practice Strike" signs refer to Sutter CPMC reneging on its agreement with the Union and the Federal Mediator in early September.

This isn't Sutter's first Unfair Labor Practice (ULP). On four days in December 2004, Sutter violated federal labor law by locking out workers engaged in a one day strike against Sutter. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)charged that "the lockout could discourage Union membership and was therefore ruled unlawful."

The NLRB may file another ULP against Sutter as a result of an investigation into whether Sutter and its hospitals constitute a single employer under labor law. If Sutter Health is ruled to be a single employer, this will impact whether the union must bargain separately with each medical center or with Sutter Health only.*

*From: "Sutter Corporate Watch"

  Outside the purple UHW support bus, striking healthcare workers took on union clerical work--- handing out flyers, collecting signatures on petitions, and signing people up for shifts on the picket line. Inside the bus, strikers filled out forms to verify hours worked on the picket line in order to collect strike pay. Teresa Suarez, CPMC, 35 years in Medical Therapy and Rehab is coordinating the time sheets at the table.


Helen York-Jones is the Chief Shop Steward at CPMC. She works as a cashier in the cafeteria. "The cafeteria is closed because of the strike. It's not open---everybody went out. People have to bring their lunch or buy a box lunch for $5. The strike is hurting Sutter, definitely."

How are people organized for this strike?

"We have the strikers, the picket captains, and the picket chiefs who are here every day. We have various jobs. Yesterday we went to SF City College to talk with a class on labor about the strike--what the strike is about. We do house visits and phone calls-- we let people who are still in know what's actually happening with the strike."



The view from across the street:

This was a relatively quiet day on the picket line, but every day requires fortitude and determination to keep the line going non-stop, all day and all night.

On another day, SEIU International President Andy Stern arrived to pledge the support of 1.8 million SEIU members nationwide, offering $250,000 per week to help striking healthcare workers. UHW committed to cover healthcare benefits for all strikers for the duration of the strike.

Other labor leaders offered support from the UFCW (United Food and Commercial Workers), the Teamsters, and California Federation of Labor, the California Nurses Association, and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

The list of political figures who have registered support for the UHW strikers at Sutter is long, including U. S. Congress members, members of the California Legislature (including Sacramento District 9 Assembly member Dave Jones), and city and county elected officials. Religious and community leaders also pledged their support.


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