The strike by hundreds of nurses and health care workers against Lynwood’s St. Francis Medical Center continued Tuesday, the second day of a planned five-day work stoppage.

On Tuesday, a mariachi band and union members were expected to gather with the picketers in front of the hospital as they continue to call for better wages and an end to what they describe as short staffing.

On Monday, hospital officials issued a statement saying they continue “to bargain in good faith with union leadership with the goal of reaching agreements in the best interests of the hospital, its employees, and most importantly, those who we serve.”

They also touted their “special story” of St. Francis’ “having been rescued from bankruptcy during the pandemic” and $36 million in investments in the hospital.

Union officials, however, disputed that characterization in a press release issued by the United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals, otherwise known as UNAC/UHCP.

“The truth is that St. Francis has always been profitable and was pulled into bankruptcy by the other hospitals owned by Verity along with St. Francis,” the release asserts.

Scott Byington, a registered nurse and president of the St. Francis Registered Nurses Association, also disputed the hospital’s characterizations of the investments.

“They paint a wall here and reorganize an office there, but they don’t invest in the people—the workers who provide the care and the patients we care for,” said Byington.