Kaiser Strike Commences As 68,000 Employees Stage Walkout At California Hospitals

kaiser-strike

The largest healthcare worker strike in American history began this morning when more than 75,000 Kaiser Permanente staff left their jobs, according to union leaders.

Intense negotiations between Kaiser and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions ended in failure on Tuesday in San Francisco. Eight unions in five states and the District of Columbia are represented by the coalition. Nine million patients are served by the healthcare behemoth in California, where more than 90% of its members work.

Nursing assistants, housekeepers, X-ray technicians, phlebotomists, pharmacists, optometrists, and other support workers also left their jobs. It is anticipated that the strike would run until Saturday morning. Most physicians and nurses are not participating in the strike.

“Healthcare workers are taking the work action to protest Kaiser executives’ bad faith bargaining, which is getting in the way of finding solutions to solve the Kaiser short-staffing crisis,” according to a statement from Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West, the largest of the coalition’s unions. 

Over the weekend, employee contracts came to an end. Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. are some of the other states that are affected.

Federal law mandates that healthcare employees give employers a 10-day strike notice in advance. According to Kaiser management, facilities are ready to run normally notwithstanding the strike.