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Wet, but committed, hundreds of members of S.E.I.U 1199NW turned out in the rain April 16 as 'informational' pickets in front of their employer, Highline Medical Center. The union is in mid-contract negotiations with Francisan Health System which now operates the Burien hospital.

Hundreds of hospital workers turn out in the rain to punctuate their contract demands

For weeks there have been signs throughout the Highline area asking that healthcare workers be treated fairly by their employers. Those signs support hundreds of people who showed up in front of Highline Medical Center April 16 when members of S.E.I.U 1199 NW began more than an hour of 'informational picketing'.

The group included nurses, secretaries, nursing assistants, dietary and housekeeping staff, lab techs, emergency department staff, family childbirth and staff from the medical and surgical floors according to Gloria Acosta, a critical care nurse and negotiator for the union and member of the executive board.

The purpose of the picketing was to draw attention to contract negotiations now underway to replace a contract that ends in June, 2015. Scott Thompson, media relations spokesperson for the Franciscan system which operates Highline Medical Center, said there are about 600 employees represented by the union on staff at the hospital. Franciscan, headquartered in Tacoma, recently took over ownership of Highline.

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