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Two protests at Dignity Health Hospitals in Bakersfield scheduled for this month

27 scheduled across the state
Posted at 7:03 AM, Feb 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-28 13:26:40-05

Employees at Mercy Southwest are expected to walk the picket line on Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Memorial Hospital.

A spokesperson for the union that represents nearly 1,500 Dignity Health employees nationwide said the protests in Bakersfield are part of the 27 planned across the state at Dignity Health Hospitals.

One of the two protests in Bakersfield was on Feb. 20.

In December, Dignity Health announced they plan to merge with Colorado-based Catholic Health Initiatives.

Dignity Health officials said this would give the health system 139 hospitals nationwide.

The protests are to make sure employees have secured contracts before the merger is finalized because last year, Catholic Health Initiatives cut 3,000 full-time jobs at hospitals.

Bakersfield's two Dignity Health Hospitals have 1,600 employees whose contracts are scheduled to expire on April 1.

"We pledge to maintain open lines of communication, and do everything we can to reach an agreement that is fair to our employees, our patients and our organization," a spokesperson for Dignity Health said.