SEIU 1021

Environmental Services workers at Alameda Health System fight back against layoffs—and win.


When Alameda Health System began notifying people of layoffs, workers knew how damaging it would be for patient care across the County’s hospitals and health services—and they began organizing to take action at the upcoming Board of Trustees meeting.

Flanked by over 30 coworkers and supporters in scrubs and purple union shirts, EVS worker Donn DesBoine told the AHS Board of Trustees at their September meeting, “Sometimes there’s one housekeeper to a floor…If the layoffs happen, there’s no care for infection control…[and] the patients are going to be affected.” 

In a powerful moment, Medical Records (HIM) worker Darryl Richardson, with a crowd of black and Latino EVS staff at his side, called on the Board to see how these layoffs target the jobs of workers of color. 

EVS workers Juan Cortez, Sinknesh Batti, and Derrick Boutte also shared stories about the impact these layoffs would have on staff and patients alike.

Because workers decided to fight back, the AHS Board of Trustees was forced to back down and rescind the layoff notices. That’s the power workers have in a union.