National strike at Angelica Textile Services could leave hundreds of hospitals without clean linens

NEW YORK, April 28 /PRNewswire/ — With a strike deadline of May 5 at Angelica Textile Services plants nationwide, Bruce Raynor, General President, UNITE HERE, and Andrew Stern, President, SEIU, will host a phone press conference at 11 a.m. EDT Monday to discuss what could become the largest healthcare laundry strike in U.S. history.

Stern, who heads up the nation’s largest union of healthcare workers, and Raynor, who leads the union that represents workers at Angelica, the nation’s largest healthcare linen service provider, will announce a cooperative strike strategy backed by the two international unions.

Angelica, a publicly-traded company based in Chesterfield, Missouri, has more than 30 plants in 13 states and is growing rapidly. Workers at these plants toil in unsanitary conditions where repetitive strain injuries are common, amputations occur and linen quality is questionable.

Typically paid less than $10 an hour, workers clean linens that are often soaked with blood and feces and contain used hypodermic needles and surgical instruments, which may carry HIV. Despite workers’ exposure to Hepatitis B, Angelica hasn’t consistently provided vaccinations. The company faces over $435,000 in possible fines from federal and state health and safety agencies. Angelica facilities have not complied with Joint Committee on Healthcare Laundry Guidelines that govern laundries in hospitals.

Workers at six Angelica plants in California, New York and Texas have voted to strike May 5 if the company continues to jeopardize their health and safety and break labor laws. At another 8 plants in Los Angeles, Chicago and Hempstead, Long Island, an overwhelming majority of workers have signed pledges to honor picket lines if strikers come to their plants. As a result of this unprecedented show of support, this strike could leave hundreds of healthcare facilities across the nation without clean linens.

WHO: Bruce Raynor, president, UNITE HERE
Andrew Stern, president, SEIU
Workers will be available for interviews after the briefing

WHAT: National Healthcare Laundry Strike Phone Press Briefing

WHEN: 11 a.m. EDT Monday May 2, 2005

WHERE: To participate in the briefing please call Penelope Whitney at

For more information visit


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