Workplace dispute causes California workers to strike

Working for a living is how the majority of people provide for their families and takes care of necessities. The benefits offered from employers, such as insurance and retirement plans, can be what sway a person to take one job over another. However, some workers find their employers changing the qualifications for benefits or reforming pension plans, which can lead to a workplace dispute. University of California medical workers are currently fighting for what they feel would be more fair treatment for workers.

University of California medical workers assert that they are entitled to better treatment in the workplace. There is currently an issue on pension reform -- which would greatly reduce retirement benefits for new employees -- that workers have opinions about, but they feel they are not being heard. Problems with understaffing and workers feeling over-worked are also issues that employees hope their strike will help address. One employee reported that her department is so understaffed that she feels obligated to come to work even when feeling ill. She worries that this will also undermine quality patient care.

Though many workers did participate in the strike to display their opinions on the issues, the majority of employees did show up for their shifts. Their continuing to work, however, does not necessarily mean they agree with the employee treatment. University of California employers want workers to work longer before qualifying for benefits, which many employees need, and those on strike are hoping to bring attention to changing qualifications for benefits.

Being provided the benefits earned is a right to all employees. There are many laws set in place to ensure that workers are not being taken advantage of. When workers feel that they are being overworked or not receiving proper compensation for their work, a workplace dispute can occur, and taking action may be necessary. Finding out information on California workers' rights and laws could be beneficial in determining whether an individual has been the victim of unfair workplace treatment.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "UC medical center strike: Most union members reported for work," Anna Gorman, May 22, 2013

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