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California  + Los Angeles  + Healthcare  | 

Kaiser Nurses and Steelworkers Unions Get Authority to Strike

More than 30,000 members who work at Southern California Kaiser Permanente locations have voted by an overwhelming majority to grant the unions the authority to call a strike. The United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals (UNAC/UHCP) and United Steelworkers (USW) Local 7600 recently made the announcement.

“Healthcare workers are facing record levels of burnout after 20 months of the COVID pandemic,” said Michael Barnett, USW Local 7600 president. “We urge Kaiser Permanente management to come to the table and bargain a fair contract that addresses chronic understaffing and safety issues rather than forcing workers into a labor dispute by insisting on dangerous cost-cutting measures.”

Together UNAC/UHCP and USW Local 7600 represent a combined 31,000 workers in a wide range of job classes from registered nurses, physical therapists and pharmacists to licensed vocational nurses, appointment clerks, housekeeping attendants, medical assistants, customer service representatives, pharmacy assistants, phlebotomists, pharmacy technicians, membership service representatives, dietary aides and more.

They and other members of the Alliance of Health Care Unions serve Kaiser Permanente’s 12 million patients across 39 hospitals and more than 700 medical office buildings. The Alliance has been at the bargaining table with Kaiser Permanente since April. The 21 union locals represent more than 50,000 workers at Kaiser Permanente medical centers and offices nationwide.

Among the top priorities for workers is ensuring a means to effectively fill open positions and maintain the safe staffing levels necessary to protect patients.


Inside The Story

United Nurses Associations of California

About Lisa Brown

Lisa Brown has decades of experience in corporate communications and marketing management with organizations including Coldwell Banker Residential, Grubb & Ellis, Marcus & Millichap, NAIOP, SIOR and ALM. In those positions, she worked in conjunction with chief executive officers and chief marketing officers to create corporate messaging, cohesive branding standards, strategic marketing plans and thought pieces. Brown is a frequent speaker at industry events and an editing adjunct professor for an online course. She has a master’s degree in mass communications from San Jose State University.

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