Prime Healthcare Services

By Christopher Cadelago
ccadelago@sacbee.com
Published: Wednesday, Jul. 9, 2014 – 4:58 pm

California’s dominant healthcare union has taken the “extraordinary” step of requesting that elected officials refrain from accepting political contributions from an Ontario-based hospital chain and its chief executive.

In a series of recent letters, SEIU California President Laphonza Butler and SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West President Dave Regan call on elected officials to sever ties with Prime Healthcare Services, Inc. and Chief Executive Dr. Prem Reddy.

“We are making this extraordinary request because Prime Healthcare is an outlier in healthcare; they are bad for patients, bad for taxpayers, bad for workers and bad for our community,” Butler and Regan write in the letter.

This is the latest salvo in ongoing animosity between the union and the hospital chain. Prime Healthcare was one of only a handful from the industry not to sign on to a new so-called code of conduct that is said to aid the union’s organizing efforts. SEIU, in exchange for the pact, withdrew a pair of ballot initiatives that sought to rein in hospital costs and tamp down executive compensation at nonprofit facilities.

In a prepared statement, Prime Healthcare said it was an award-winning hospital system that “will always support its employees regardless of SEIU’s bullying tactics.” It called the letters a continuation of the union’s “vicious, five-year anti-corporate campaign against Prime Healthcare.”

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