75,000 Kaiser Permanente workers go on strike in largest health care labor action in U.S. history

Over 75,000 Kaiser Permanente healthcare workers across six states and Washington, D.C., went on a three-day strike starting Oct. 4 after contract negotiations failed. This is the largest healthcare strike ever in the U.S., with around 40% of Kaiser’s staff participating.

Workers — including nurses, technicians, assistants, and pharmacists — are picketing at hospitals and medical facilities in California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Virginia, and D.C. Other strikes are planned for emergency department technicians, radiology technicians, X-ray technicians, medical assistants, pharmacists, and many other positions across facilities in California, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington state.

A coalition of several unions is battling the nonprofit health giant for safe staffing levels, cost of living pay increases, and against a two-tier pay system that Kaiser is trying to introduce.

The largest union in the coalition is Service Employees International Union (SEIU)-United Healthcare Workers West (UHW) with 57,443 members, but the coalition also includes Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 30, SEIU Local 49, OPEIU Local 2 and others.

“We are in a healthcare staffing crisis, but Kaiser is unwilling to even meet with our bargaining team to discuss a wage proposal that would keep good healthcare workers at our facilities,” wrote SEIU-UHW. “That has never happened before in the 25 years of our partnership.”

Kaiser Campaign Updates can be found at www.seiu-uhw.org/kaiser-campaign-updates/

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