[Feb. 6, 2018] OAKLAND, Calif. – Thousands of healthcare workers will protest across California at 32 hospitals owned by Kaiser Permanente between Feb. 14 and March 9 because of the corporation’s plans that undermine patients and the people who care for them.
“Kaiser Permanente is more profitable than ever and the partnership between labor and management is a big reason for that,” said Sonia Allen Smith, an employee at Kaiser Oakland. “The partnership wasn’t built on outsourcing jobs and wage cuts, which harm patient care and our communities.”
Kaiser Permanente’s profits increased 60 percent from 2016 to 2017 and has $32 billion in reserves yet is seeking cuts that undermine patient care. Kaiser has said it wants to reduce wage rates by 20 percent in the Central Valley and 10 percent in the Sacramento area.
The corporation also plans to outsource 245 pharmacy warehouse jobs in Oakland, Livermore and Downey, and lay off 700 employees at three call centers in Los Angeles, Baldwin Park and Woodland Hills and move the jobs to other areas of the state where workers will earn $2 per hour less.
More than 55,000 Kaiser Permanente employees in California are members of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW). Their contract with Kaiser Permanente expires Sept. 30, 2018.
Meanwhile, thousands of Dignity Health caregivers are planning a separate series of 27 protests statewide between Feb. 20 and March 7 to demand the corporation operate in the interests of patients, healthcare workers and communities as it becomes a $28 billion corporation in a merger with Catholic Health Initiatives. Fifteen thousand Dignity Health employees are members of SEIU-UHW, and their contract expires April 1, 2018.