A 10-day nurses’ strike at Riverside Community Hospital entered its second day Saturday.
The health care workers are demanding additional staffing that they say has been inadequate as they treat patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Joyce Cardenas said she’s been struggling to manage nurses across two units at the hospital: “How am I supposed to [give] breaks and help them without the proper staffing?”
“We need to save lives,” Cardenas added. “We are tired of working 12 plus hours with N95s, if we get them.”
Another nurse, Erin McIntosh, accused the hospital of choosing “profits over patients” and flouting state-mandated patient-to-care ratios.
Riverside Community Hospital argued the hospital has not laid off or furloughed caregivers as other centers across the U.S. have during the pandemic.
“I’m disappointed that the nurses chose this time to strike,” hospital CEO Jackie Van Blaricum told KTLA.
She said the hospital has hired 400 nurses to continue operations at the facility.
“I think it’s pretty typical when you have a contract that expires, that unions tend to use this as an opportunity when they’re negotiating their contract,” Van Blaricum said.
KTLA’s Jennifer McGraw reports for the KTLA 5 Morning News on June 27, 2020.