NASHVILLE, Tenn (WKRN) — SEIU HCA Healthcare workers rallied in front of the company’s headquarters for better staffing and worker treatment on Wednesday. They want the company to listen to worker concerns about quality care and worker retention.

The rally featured workers from California, Texas, Tennessee, Florida and other states wearing purple t-shirts. On the back of the t-shirts read, “Respect Us, Protect Us, Pay Us.”

Several people expressed their dedication to patient care and say that current staffing levels are only putting them at risk.

“There is no nursing shortage,” Kery Cavazos, RN says. “It’s their inability to staff us correctly to meet you and your family’s needs.”

The main reason they chose to rally outside the company’s headquarters Wednesday, is due to the shareholders’ meeting. According to an SEIU press release on the rally, shareholders are voting on a key metric that would require the Patient Safety and Quality of Care Committee of HCA’s Board of Directors to review staffing levels in HCA hospitals and look at the impact of patient safety and quality of care.

| READ MORE | Latest headlines from Nashville and Davidson County

“We’re here for HCA to value their members,”said Xochitl Gonzalez, Patient Care Tech from Ventura County, California. “Our members need to be respected, valued and taken care of.”

In response to today’s rally, HCA Corporation sent News 2 this statement:

As the healthcare industry continues to face challenges due to the national nursing shortage, labor unions have chosen to attack hospitals across the country through misleading information and staged events designed to garner media coverage. Their attempt to exploit nationwide healthcare challenges to advance their own business interests of organizing more dues paying members demonstrates a lack of regard for patient care and the communities we serve. HCA Healthcare’s staffing is safe, appropriate, and in line with other community hospitals and applicable regulations, and our nurse retention rates are better than the national average based on the most recent available data.

In 2020, SEIU asked HCA Healthcare to surrender large groups of our colleagues to union representation without the voice of our organization being heard.  We declined because we believe that labor unions do not benefit our patients, hospitals, or colleagues. As a result, SEIU launched a smear campaign against our hospitals and colleagues during the worst pandemic in our nation’s history, and that shameful effort, which includes spreading misinformation and pushing for media coverage of their unfounded claims, continues today. In addition, SEIU may be particularly resentful toward HCA Healthcare after hundreds of our colleagues at Research Medical Center in Kansas City ousted SEIU as their representative two years ago.

Today, we are privileged to care for more patients in our facilities than ever before, and we believe that is due to the high-quality care provided by our caregivers. We are proud of the hard work and unwavering commitment of our caregivers, and we will defend the reputation of our organization and our colleagues against labor unions that attack us to advance their financial agendas.

— HCA Corporation spokesperson

⏩ Read today’s top stories on

According to an SEIU representative, they are looking at a walkout or possible strike, if their demands are not met.