Healthcare workers protest near Mercy Hospital Southwest Tuesday as they demand better wages, benefits and more from Dignity Health prior to its merger with Catholic Health Initiatives.

Union healthcare workers protested outside of two local hospitals Tuesday as they demand better wages, benefits and pathways to improving patient care ahead of a merger between two healthcare giants that would be worth billions.

The protests taking place outside of Mercy Hospital Southwest Tuesday and Bakersfield Memorial Hospital Feb. 28 are part of a statewide demonstration this week, with employees at 27 hospitals taking part. Dignity Health, which oversees both hospitals, will be merging with Colorado-based Catholic Health Initiatives. 

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