L.A. Area Chamber

    WEDNESDAY | Oct. 8, 2008





Coming up
at the Chamber

View all upcoming events on our Web calendar.

FRI | Oct. 10
Health Care Committee Meeting
more info

TUE | Oct. 14
Referral Network
Grow Your Business
more info

THU | Oct. 16
International Trade & Investment Committee
Featuring Richard J. Elkus, Jr., author of "Winner Take All"
more info

FRI | Oct. 17
Accenture Pancakes & Politics
Open to Circle Level members and above
more info

MON | Oct. 20
Mobility 21
Southern California
Transportation Summit
more info

The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business in L.A. County. Founded in 1888, the Chamber promotes a prosperous economy and quality of life in the Los Angeles region. For more information, visit

350 S. Bixel St.
Los Angeles, CA 90017
213.580.7500 tel
213.580.7511 fax


In this troubled economy, jobs and health care are two of the most pressing issues facing our region. The Los Angeles City Council will make a decision on both when it determines the fate of the Providence Holy Cross Hospital expansion project in Mission Hills. For a region with 8 percent unemployment that has lost half of its trauma centers and emergency rooms in recent years, we urge them to put the construction crews back to work immediately.

Last week, a Superior Court decision halted all construction on the 136-bed expansion project at Holy Cross Hospital. The judge ruled that the full Los Angeles City Council must vote on whether to let construction resume or order a second environmental review. The decision could not have come at a more inopportune time. Construction is 20 percent complete and the region desperately needs the 150 construction jobs, 136 new hospital beds and the 250 new jobs that will be available when the project is complete.

The effort to stop the expansion at Providence Holy Cross has very little to do with environment or neighborhood impacts. Instead, the lawsuit is a tactic being used by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to pressure the hospital into a collective bargaining agreement. Providence hospitals throughout California have been the target of a major SEIU organizing drive, which has been unsuccessful since the hospital’s workers voted 2:1 not to join the union in 2003.

Now the expansion’s fate lies with the 15-member city council.  By voting for the project to continue immediately, councilmembers will save construction workers from being laid off, hasten the time when 250 new jobs paying an average of $37 per hour plus benefits will be hired and ensure that this important addition to our region’s health care safety net is brought online as soon as possible. It will also confirm the unanimous approval of the L.A. City Planning Commission and other city departments that already thoroughly examined the expansion’s environmental impact.

Anything short of an affirmative vote will lead to immediate job losses and an estimated cost overrun of $50 million. Just last month, 17 Metrolink crash victims were treated at the Providence Holy Cross Hospital trauma center.  It is clear that maintaining our region’s capacity to provide emergency services is quite literally a life or death decision.

This project has the support of the Mission Hills Neighborhood Council and a broad coalition of Providence Holy Cross employees and other local residents. At a time when our unemployment rate exceeds 8 percent, it would be unconscionable to put more people out of work and add more to the cost of this project because the majority of hospital employees have chosen not to become affiliated with a labor union.

Many decisions that affect our economy and health care are made in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento. This decision is totally within our local control.  Join us in urging the L.A. City Council to vote for immediate approval and putting our citizens back to work.

And that's The Business Perspective.

Gary L. Toebben
President & CEO
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

The Business Perspective is a weekly opinion piece by Gary Toebben, President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, produced with the input of Samuel Garrison, Vice President of Public Policy.


by Gary Toebben, President & CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

L.A. Business

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Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, 350 S. Bixel St., Los Angeles, CA 90017
213.580.7500 | fax: 213.580.7511 | info@lachamber.com | www.lachamber.com

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