Almost two dozen Satellite Healthcare and Fresenius Kidney Care clinics across California, including Chula Vista and El Cajon, will see over 500 healthcare workers strike on September 25 and 26 due to unfair labor practices.
Strike lines and rallies are scheduled to take place in San Diego County on September 25th. In Chula Vista, the event will occur at the Fresenius Kidney Care Balboa East Lakes Dialysis from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. In El Cajon, the rally will take place at the Fresenius Kidney Care East County from 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM.
The staff providing weekly dialysis treatments accuse management of jeopardizing safety for profit and violating rights.
“We spend more time with our patients and coworkers than our own families, and they know we are chronically understaffed and underpaid,” said Manny Gonzalez, a Certified Hemodialysis Technician at Fresenius Kidney Care Juniper Fontana. “Fresenius is trying to keep us silent because they’re afraid of us standing together, and they know that our patients are supporting us in this fight.”
In response to caregivers’ attempts to improve safety, management from both corporations has violated United States labor law by threatening and intimidating caregivers, firing workers for trying to form a union and speaking out to improve patient care, making unilateral changes to working conditions without negotiating, and failing to bargain in good faith in contract negotiations.
Fresenius Medical Care made nearly $710 million in profits and paid its CEO approximately $5 million in compensation in 2022. Satellite Healthcare made $16.7 million in profits and paid its CEO $1.5 million in compensation in 2021. In contrast, many dialysis caregivers make as little as $17 an hour and routinely hold two or more jobs to make ends meet.
The strike applies to more than 500 dialysis caregivers in various job classes at Fresenius and Satellite Healthcare clinics, including registered nurses, patient care technicians, licensed vocational nurses, certified clinical hemodialysis technicians, dietitians, social workers, clinical administrative coordinators, and receptionists.
This is just the beginning of strikes for dialysis workers in California. Even more Registered Nurses, technicians, and schedulers who work for Fresenius Medical Care and perform dialysis inpatient care at Sharp HealthCare hospitals, Scripps Health hospitals, and Tri-City Medical Center in the San Diego area have planned an unfair labor practice strike for October 2 and 3. Dialysis caregivers are joined by nearly 100,000 other healthcare workers voting to authorize strikes at Kaiser Permanente, Prime Healthcare, and other healthcare corporations this fall.