SEATTLE – Councilmember Kshama Sawant (District 3, Central Seattle) issued the following statement in support of SEIU 1199 Northwest and the caregivers at Swedish-Providence Hospital who picketed today advocating for quality patient care, safe staffing levels and racial equity in hiring and employment practices):
“I stand in full solidarity with the thousands of courageous nurses and other caregivers at Swedish-Providence, proud members of SEIU 1199NW, who are standing up for our entire community,” said Sawant. “It is appalling to hear about Providence, a $24 billion corporation sitting on an $11 billion cash reserve , whose executives have committed unfair labor practices against caregivers, including unlawfully firing workers involved in the union, and who have threatened to lock out workers, jeopardizing the health of the public .”
From the letter:
…I recognize that it’s not easy to leave your patients, especially in the face of harassment by managers who take advantage of your commitment to care by claiming you will harm patient care.
…Well, we know who is really harming patient care: It’s the executives at Providence and Swedish, who take seven-figure salaries while cutting staff, and telling you to do more with less.
Yours will not be an easy fight. Providence and Swedish will try to wait you out. They’re counting on you giving up. To win, you have to be ready to stay in this fight one day longer than the boss is willing to fight.
Sawant went on to state that, “… when you win, it will be a victory not just for the Swedish caregivers, but for the entire working class in the region, and throughout the country.
The union has announced that the strike will run until 7:30 a.m. Friday.
# # #