FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 15, 2021
OAKLAND, Calif. – Healthcare workers representing SEIU-UHW’s 36,000 Kaiser Permanente members in Northern California have voted to authorize a one-day sympathy strike in solidarity with Kaiser engineers from Local 39 who have been on strike for two months. The sympathy strike will start on Thursday, November 18 at 7 a.m. at various Kaiser facilities across the Bay Area, Sacramento, and the Central Valley.
“We voted by a 97% margin in support of a sympathy strike with the engineers of Local 39 to help them achieve a fair contract. We understand how disrespected they feel by Kaiser’s unfair labor practices,” said Georgette Bradford, an ultrasound technologist at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Sacramento. “We see it every day when there’s not enough staff in our units to care for patients safely. Kaiser is putting its drive for profits over people, to the detriment of our patients and co-workers.”
SEIU-UHW members join OPEIU Local 29, IFPTE Local 20, and other unions in demanding that Kaiser stop its anti-union tactics and agree to a fair contract with Local 39. All three unions have picketed alongside the striking engineers of Local 39 in recent weeks.
“We’re embarrassed that Kaiser has dragged the engineers strike on for 8 weeks,” said Kundra Vaughn, pharmacy technician and OPEIU Local 29 member at Kaiser Oakland Medical Center. “Kaiser is supposed to be the labor-friendly health plan. They have lost their way.”
“It’s time for all Kaiser workers to come together and say, ‘enough is enough,’” said Shae Schopp, supervisor clinical lab scientist and member of IFPTE Local 20.
Jobs affected by the strike vote include optometrists, clinical laboratory scientists, respiratory and x-ray technicians, licensed vocational nurses, certified nursing assistants, surgical technicians, pharmacy technicians, phlebotomists, medical assistants, and housekeepers, among hundreds of other positions.
Sympathy strikes will take place at the following locations starting at 7 a.m. on November 18:
Despite being a non-profit organization – which means it pays no income taxes on its earnings and extremely limited property taxes – Kaiser Permanente reported a net income of $6.4 billion in 2020.
Media Contact: Renée Saldaña [email protected]
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SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) is a healthcare justice union of more than 100,000 healthcare workers, patients, and healthcare activists united to ensure affordable, accessible, high-quality care for all Californians, provided by valued and respected healthcare workers.