Keck workers present letter for strike

A delegation of Keck healthcare workers, National Union of Healthcare Workers representatives and USC students presented a letter addressed to the University President C. L. Max Nikias on Feb. 8, informing him that 900 members of the NUHW will conduct a strike at Keck School of Medicine of USC, in addition to requesting his help in bringing the protracted contract negotiations between Keck and the NUHW workers to a close.

The delegation gathered outside the Bovard Administration Building and then proceeded to Nikias’ office, whereupon they were halted outside the building and directed to the Senior Vice President for Administration Todd R. Dickey’s office to deliver the letter. The letter was left in the care of the front desk secretary. When the delegation asked to speak with someone from the administration, they were told that there was no one available and that somebody would get back to them in the future.

The letter was signed by a number of community members and interest groups, including the Coalition Resistance LA, the Student Coalition Against Labor Exploitation and a number of reverends and rabbis from surrounding religious institutions. It mentioned fair compensation for work and the role of USC in providing an adequate standard of living for its employees and spur “economic development, enhance family stability,and address income inequality.”

“We are not asking for much. We are just asking for the same benefits that anybody working for USC has,” said Keck healthcare worker Herbert Palacios.

Nine hundred NUHW workers plan to strike Feb. 10 at Keck.

“With respect to the work stoppage by Keck employees, we can emphatically say that our organization continues to offer competitive benefits packages that attract top talent” Keck said in a statement regarding the strike Feb. 10.