Kaiser Permanente workers mount largest healthcare strike in history
Over 75,000 union members at Kaiser Permanente facilities across the United States mounted a three-day strike Wednesday morning, demanding higher wages, increased benefits, and fewer staffing shortages. The strike came after contract negotiations broke down Tuesday night. Union leaders accuse Kaiser management of engaging in unfair work practices and bad-faith bargaining. Kaiser released a statement last Thursday, saying workers had “no reason to strike” and highlighting wage increases of up to 16 percent since 2019.
Are healthcare providers legally allowed to go on strike? While all workers have the right to strike, the National Labor Relations Board prohibits healthcare workers from striking unless they give written notice 10 days beforehand. The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions issued a press release announcing the strike on Sept. 22, 13 days in advance. The release warned that if Kaiser did not yield to worker requests, the unions would mount a larger strike when more worker contracts run out in November.
Dig deeper: Read Steve West’s report in WORLD Magazine on a patient suing Kaiser Permanente for performing gender surgeries on an underage patient without fully explaining the consequences.
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