[Sept. 25, 2019] POMONA, Calif. – Teamsters Joint Council 42 and Joint Council 7, representing a combined 350,000 workers and retirees in California, voted to support an unfair labor practices strike beginning Oct. 14 that affects more than 80,000 workers at Kaiser Permanente in California, five other states and Washington, D.C.
“Kaiser Permanente is just the latest example of a corporation that has lost its way by emphasizing huge profits and enriching top executives rather than honoring its mission to serve the community,” said Randy Cammack, president of Teamsters Joint Council 42, which is based in Pomona, Calif.
Other labor organizations supporting the strike include 19 regional labor groups in California – including the Los Angeles Labor Federation, and the Colorado AFL-CIO.
“Workers reject what Kaiser has become, because the real fight should be about providing quality healthcare and protecting the good, middle-class jobs America needs,” said David Hawley, president of Teamsters Joint Council 7, which is based in San Francisco.
The strike is supported by prominent elected officials, including six Democratic Presidential candidates; U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.); 26 U.S. Representatives; 71 California State Legislators; 26 Oregon State Legislators; and four Colorado State Legislators.
Workers will strike at Kaiser Permanente hospitals, medical office buildings and other facilities in California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. It would be the nation’s largest strike since 185,000 Teamsters members walked out at United Parcel Service in 1997.
They want Kaiser Permanente to bargain in good faith and stop committing unfair labor practices, and are fighting for a new contract that would:
As a non-profit entity, Kaiser Permanente is supposed to serve the public interest in exchange for not paying income taxes and little to nothing in property taxes – an estimated tax break of more than $2.3 billion over the last two years. But in recent years, the corporation has departed from its community-oriented mission by:
The workers’ national contract expired Sept. 30, 2018, and in December 2018 the National Labor Relations Board charged Kaiser Permanente with failing to bargain in good faith. Since then, Kaiser has continued to commit unfair labor practices.