Los Angeles hospital service workers protest Sodexo for better jobs
July 2, 2010
LOS ANGELES – Housekeepers and food service workers in California have had enough of Sodexo''s poor standards, calling for better pay and higher quality jobs, according to a press release.
More than 150 workers and community supporters marched and rallied in front of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center to protest poor working conditions that they say lower the quality of service for patients, the release stated.
Sodexo workers in California are paid as little as $8 per hour and despite working in health care facilities, many Sodexo hospital workers can''t afford health insurance, the release noted.
"We work in hospitals helping to take care of others, we should be able to have health care for our families," said Elvia Hernandez, a dietary aide for Sodexo at Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital.
"To cover my three daughters with Sodexo''s plan is too expensive. We can''t afford it. We have to use California Healthy Families to get coverage for my girls. We are just asking Sodexo to pay a decent wage and provide affordable health care coverage," Hernandez added.
According to the release, the experiences of Sodexo workers in Los Angeles hospitals have raised unsettling questions about the adequacy of trainings, staffing levels and even the availability of necessary cleaning supplies.
"We work side-by-side with Sodexo workers in hospitals every day. We know how important their work is to ensuring the quality of service for patients and everyone in the hospital," said Kathy Hughes, a critical care nurse and member of SEIU Local 121RN.
"It''s not right that people that play such a vital role are paid so little that they struggle to support their families and they can''t afford health care coverage for themselves and their loved ones," Hughes concluded.
Click here to read the complete release.