Press Contact: Paul Zilly Phone: 206-794-6673 Email: [email protected]
(TUKWILA) – Teamsters Local 117 stands in solidarity with nearly 8,000 Swedish Medical Center workers who began a three-day unfair labor practices strike Tuesday morning. The workers are members of SEIU Local 1199NW.
Health care workers at seven Swedish Medical Center campuses in King and Snohomish Counties are fighting for quality patient care and good, family-sustaining jobs. These nurses and caregivers report that they face understaffing which impacts patient safety, along with disrespect and discrimination from management.
According to their union, instead of bargaining in good faith for a contract with reasonable wages, management has spent $11 million on an agency to temporarily replace workers during the strike.
“The Teamsters Union represents over 50,000 health care workers, including hundreds who are members of Teamsters 117. Our members work long hours, often with limited resources, in stressful environments to provide critical, ethical care. We stand with our labor partners at SEIU 1199NW to ensure that workers in the profession are treated with dignity and respect,” said Michelle Woodrow, President of Local 117 and Western Region Representative for the Teamsters Health Care Division.
“In Washington State and nationally, we want Swedish Medical Center workers to know that we have their backs. We stand by them as they fight for what’s right—fair treatment and quality care for patients,” said Nina Bugbee, Director of the Teamsters Health Care Division.
“Nurses and caregivers touch every life and every community,” said John Scearcy, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters 117. “As a community, we need to come together and support them in their fight for fair working conditions, racial equity and patient safety. We are committed to standing with the striking workers until their demands are met.”