Dozens of Workers to Engage in Civil Disobedience; Urge Healthcare Giant Get Back on Track before October Walkout
NATIONAL – With more than 80,000 Kaiser Permanente workers set to strike nationwide in early October in the largest walkout in more than two decades, thousands of them – along with patients, clergy, elected leaders and community allies – will protest on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 2 at Kaiser facilities in Los Angeles, Oakland and Sacramento, with smaller actions also held in Denver and Portland, Ore. Workers and supporters are calling out the healthcare giant’s unfair labor practices and shift from prioritizing patients and the community to profits and enriching top executives.
“On the one day meant to recognize working people, it’s a shame that Kaiser Permanente is attacking the same employees who made it successful in the first place,” said Verna Hampton, a service representative at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in West Los Angeles. “We reject what Kaiser has become, and instead urge the corporation to join us in the fight to provide quality patient care and protect good, middle-class jobs that America needs.”
While Kaiser Permanente is a “non-profit,” it has reported profits of $11 billion since Jan. 1, 2017, including $5.2 billion just in the first half of 2019. In addition, it has amassed more than $37 billion in reserves and pays at least 36 executives more than $1 million annually, led by CEO Bernard Tyson and his $16 million-a-year compensation.
The strike would begin in early October and affect more than 80,000 Kaiser Permanente employees nationwide, of which 66,000 are based in California. It would be the largest walkout since 185,000 Teamsters went on strike at United Parcel Service in 1997.
In December 2018, the National Labor Relations Board charged Kaiser Permanente with failing to bargain in good faith. Since then, Kaiser has continued to bargain in bad faith and commit additional unfair labor practices.
The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions comprises unions in California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Their national contract with Kaiser Permanente expired Sept. 30, 2018.
Workers want Kaiser Permanente to bargain in good faith and stop committing unfair labor practices, and are fighting for a new contract that would:
- Restore a true worker-management partnership, and have Kaiser bargain in good faith;
- Ensure safe staffing and compassionate use of technology;
- Build the workforce of the future to deal with major projected shortages of licensed andaccredited staff in the coming years; and
- Protect middle-class jobs with wages and benefits that can support families.
WHAT: Thousands of healthcare workers and allies will protest and march against the corporation’s unfair labor practices and shift from caring about the community to piling up enormous profits and enriching top executives. Dozens of them are expected to engage in civil disobedience by blocking an intersection near the Kaiser Medical Center in Hollywood.
WHEN: Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 2
WHERE: Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, Denver and Portland
NOTE: For specific time and location details for any of planned events, please contact Sean Wherley, (323) 893-6831, firstname.lastname@example.org