County Strike Closes Hospital Units, Clinics
A strike on Thursday by more than 1,200 San Joaquin County workers forced county health clinics and some units at San Joaquin General Hospital to close, the Stockton Record reports. The strike also disrupted services at county agencies.
The Service Employees International Union Local 790 on Wednesday night called a strike because it claimed that the county rejected a temporary deal reached last weekend. The union is seeking more generous health care benefits for current and retired employees in a new contract, after the previous agreement expired on Oct. 31.
The strike closed the hospital's pharmacy, laboratory, and computer scanning and radiology divisions. County health clinics also closed, and Ken Cohen, director of Health Care Services, said county officials anticipated that the clinics remaining closed Friday because of a second day of striking (Kane, Stockton Record, 11/10).
The clinics treat an average of 300 patients each weekday. Those in need of immediate treatment were directed to the hospital's emergency department. However, the hospital is diverting ambulances during the strike.
Stockton's two private hospitals -- Dameron and St. Joseph's Medical Center -- said they were prepared to treat additional patients in their EDs (Goldeen, Stockton Record, 11/10).