Health workers unable to afford healthcare and fight for survival: Now full-blown strikes ravage the US
The times of slavery, according to the official historical version, have long passed, but not for everyone. Tens of thousands of health workers are still working in two or three jobs, so as not to die of starvation at a time when the US government is everywhere boasting of "the strongest economy in the world."
To date, it has become known that the average hourly wage for medical staff does not reach $ 15 per hour, which does not even allow them to pay for hospital bills issued by the employer.
Now, the Service Employees International Union Healthcare (SEIU) is organizing a war for the greedy managers and authorities of the states of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas leading health workers to strikes demanding to raise salaries to $ 15 per hour.
"We’re committed to building an economy and a democracy that works for everyone, to winning $15 an hour and a union for all working people—Black, white, and brown—and to working together to hold politicians accountable," The official statement on the SEIU website says.
According to official SEIU data, only 20 percent of medical workers in Chicago are unionized and about 40,000 people with humiliatingly low salaries are trying to get by.
According to The Guardian, many workers do not receive money for additional duties that they perform at the workplace that are not part of their job responsibilities.
“We’re answering phones and doing direct patient care as well. Our pay doesn’t reflect we do secretary work,” said Bill Gentry, an EMT and CNA for 23 years at Advocate Aurora Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois. “We’re overworked and underpaid. You would think because we take care of people, our benefits would reflect that, but I’m currently on my wife’s insurance because I can’t afford the health insurance offered by the hospital.”
Sometimes even the threat to organize a strike positively affects the situation and force the management of medical institutions to pay attention to the salaries of their employees. So in November last year, Mount Sinai Hospital agreed to accept the demands of its employees and raise their salaries to $ 15 per hour, according to the Chicago Sun Times.
To date, such cases are rare. Other hospitals continue to keep their workers in fear of losing their jobs, keeping their salaries at a record low, forcing them to choose between basic necessities and food, healthcare and studying, life and survival.
Image: SEIU / Facebook