Melissa Pinion-Whitt, Staff Writer
Posted: 12/18/2012 03:18:46 PM PST
Updated: 12/18/2012 06:42:19 PM PST

FONTANA – Registered nurses and other employees crowded street corners near Kaiser Permanente Medical Center on Tuesday, fighting against what union officials call unfair cuts in medical staffing.

The roughly 100 pickters marked the end of the “Days of Protest,” a series of demonstrations by thousands of registered nurses, physician assistants and nurse practitioners at Kaiser facilities.

Bundled in raincoats and gloves, workers carried plastic-covered signs in the morning drizzle. They chanted, “Who let the unions out?” followed by a series of dog barks, a spin-off of a song by the Baha Men.

“We love Kaiser, we appreciate our jobs at Kaiser, but we’re just really disappointed in it right now,” said Maddie Chero, a patient support services representative at the hospital.

Between the Fontana and Ontario hospitals, as well as medical offices around San Bernardino County, 85 people received layoff notices in mid November, said Jennifer Resch-Silvestri, hospital spokeswoman.

Workers argue that cuts will jeopardize patient care. They’ve also protested that employees – some working for the organization for as many as 40 years – were among the people on the list, while other employees with less seniority were not cut.

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