Nurses at two hospitals in the Valley region have called a 10-day strike from Dec. 24 to Jan. 3 to protest unfair labor practices.

The two facilities – Los Robles Regional Medical Center in Thousand Oaks and West Hills Hospital and Medical Center – are owned by Nashville-based Hospital Corporation of America, or HCA. Members of the Southern California Registered Nurse Union gave the company advanced notice to bring in temporary replacement staff in light of the pandemic, Service Employees International Union 121 said.


Negotiations will continue through the advance notice period, the union said, and a federal mediator will be brought on for the process.


The strike also includes Riverside Community Hospital in Riverside.


Nurses at these locations said management was “alarmingly unprepared” for COVID-19 and that safety, staffing and workload issues are still major concerns.


“While these HCA facilities are among the most profitable hospitals in the region, they were also among the least prepared for the pandemic,” the union said in a statement. “Meanwhile, HCA placed a full-page, Sunday edition, full color ad in the Los Angeles Times and other large newspapers yesterday — squandering resources that nurses and other health care staff say would be much better spent on safe hospital operations.”


In a statement released Monday, HCA said a strike adds unneeded stress to an overwhelmed industry.


“A strike at this time further adds to the demands on the overburdened health care system in Southern California, which is already at bed and ICU capacities due to the nursing shortage and COVID-19 surge,” the company said in a statement. “Regardless, we will continue negotiating in good faith this week at the bargaining table – too many lives in Southern California depend on the vital services our hospitals provide.”