Over 500 SEIU Healthcare Minnesota members employed by Allina Health were called upon on Wednesday to picket outside Abbott Northwestern and draw attention to the need for "safer staffing levels" in response to cuts made by the company in recent years.
SEIU claims Allina's cuts "have led to thousands of staffing emergencies in which staff have worked over 120 hours in a two-week pay period." The picketing is also to dispute Allina's apparent desire to subcontract hospital jobs.
"If Allina executives subcontract hospital jobs like Dietary and Environmental Services to the lowest bidder, I think there will be higher turnover, less training, lower standards, and all of that will harm patient care," said Dawn Akkaya, a 16-year Nursing Assistant and Patient Assistant Coordinator. "We want to work with Allina to invest in our healthcare workforce, not drive a race to the bottom."
On Wednesday afternoon, picketers stood outside Abbott Northwestern and are scheduled to move to United Hospital in St. Paul and Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids on Thursday.