Saving Watsonville Hospital (and more than 50 Teamster jobs)  

Business Rep Steven Lua reports that in December, Watsonville Community Hospital filed for bankruptcy. If this, the only hospital in Watsonville, were to close, it would be devastating not only for the 55 Teamsters who work in the business department, but for the entire community.

Lua and the Teamsters sprang into action. Working with Joint Council 7 Political Director Doug Bloch and with the Matt Broad, advocate for the California Teamsters Public Affairs Council, they worked with community leaders to help establish the Pajaro Valley Health Care District and raise $25 million from the State to use toward the $60 million purchase price of the bankrupt hospital. As of September 1, the new health district will own the hospital, and every Teamster member will be able to keep their job and their benefits.

Lua wanted to also thank the Beeson and Rosenfeld law firms for playing a huge part with ensuring fairness out of the bankruptcy. “Specifically, Catherine Holzhauser with Beeson did a great job on filing claims for all of our members.”

The hospital is home to 600 employees and four different unions. “This was a win for all unions involved and it was great working alongside the other unions to make it happen,” Lua adds. “It really shows how coming together in Union can have such an incredible impact on an entire community.”

Congratulations to everyone who made this decisive victory happen!