Nursing assistants, medical technicians and housekeepers are picketing outside Providence St. Joseph hospitals in Sonoma and Napa counties Wednesday morning as part of a one-day strike.
There were more than 100 picketers outside Petaluma Valley Medical Center in Petaluma Wednesday morning, said Matthew Artz, a spokesman for the National Union of Healthcare Workers.
The striking workers also are picketing outside Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, and workers at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital plan to picket in support of the strike between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Wednesday.
Workers also are striking outside two Providence St. Joseph hospitals in Humboldt County.
The union claims Providence St. Joseph has canceled a contract bargaining session and is locking out striking workers until Monday in retaliation to the strike, Artz said.
The workers claim Providence St. Joseph wants to cut health benefits, reduce vacation time, and is offering 2 percent annual raises. The caregivers also say the hospitals are understaffed following layoffs in recent years and workers are resigning for better paying jobs.
A spokeswoman for Providence St. Joseph Northern California did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday morning.