300 workers don’t have jobs secured as Prime takes over California hospital, union says

Prime Healthcare begins taking over Lynwood, Calif.-based St. Francis Medical Center Aug. 14, and about one-third of the hospital’s workers have not been offered jobs, according to a labor union representing workers at the 348-bed hospital. 

Prime Healthcare won a bid in bankruptcy court to buy the Lynwood hospital from El Segundo, Calif.-based Verity Health System for $350 million. The transaction, which won bankruptcy court approval this week, closed Aug. 14.  

SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West, a union representing St. Francis Medical Center workers, said that 300 St. Francis employees have either lost their jobs or not been offered labor contracts as of Aug. 14. 

The jobs affected include workers in the emergency department and environmental services, according to the union. 

“I’ve worked at this hospital for 23 years — my entire career — and with the sweep of Prime’s hand I’ve been brushed aside as though everything I’ve given to St. Francis and this community means nothing,” said Mayra Castaneda, an ultrasound technician. “All that we feared about Prime taking over this hospital  — undercutting quality care and mistreating its own staff  — is already happening on day one.”

In its acquisition announcement, Prime Healthcare said that “substantially” all of St. Francis’ employees have been retained and that it reached collective bargaining agreements with the hospital’s labor unions. 

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