Hospital Workers Strike Roseland for a Day

October 8, 2007

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People who work in labs, kitchens and in other service jobs at Roseland Community Hospital on Chicago's South Side went on a one-day strike today.

Their contract expired last month.

Chicago Public Radio's Natalie Moore reports.

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The Service Employees International Union represents about 200 workers at Roseland Hospital.

Today dozens of those workers picketed out front of the hospital, near 111th and  State streets.

They want higher, competitive wages, says Local 20 President Byron Hobbs.

HOBBS: People aren't lined up to work at Roseland. And we think by the hospital adjusting the pay rate so that it's comparable to other South Side hospitals, that speaks to better recruitment, better retention and ultimately better patient care.

Hobbs says Roseland employees make about $8 to $10 an hour while other area hospitals pay $10 to $12 an hour. 

Union leaders are pushing for a federal mediator to help with bargaining.

In a statement, hospital officials said only that they have secured replacement workers from other hospitals.

And that negotiations will continue.

I'm Natalie Moore…Chicago Public Radio.