Local Kaiser Healthcare Workers to Picket Over Short-Staffing, Threats to Patient Care, in Solidarity with Striking Hospital Engineers

Local Kaiser Healthcare Workers to Picket Over Short-Staffing, Threats to Patient Care, in Solidarity with Striking Hospital Engineers

October 18, 2021

MODESTO, Calif.  – Kaiser Permanente healthcare workers and allies will picket at Kaiser Modesto Medical Center on Monday, Oct. 18 at 11 a.m. to protest short-staffing, threats to patient care, and in solidarity with engineers from Local 39 who are on strike at Kaiser. SEIU-UHW and other union members are demanding Kaiser improve staffing levels and invest in its current workforce. Monday’s picket is part of a series of events across Northern California.

“As healthcare workers we want to make sure our patients are safe and get the care they need,” said Ronika Winchester, an Audiology Dept. Clerk at Kaiser Modesto. “Our safety and our patients’ safety depend on our engineer co-workers, but they’re stretched to the limit just like us. They’re the ones who make sure your baby has a working incubator in the NICU. They make sure our medication delivery system works so patients get their medicines. Kaiser needs to stop disrespecting them and short-staffing our hospitals.”

The Local 39 engineers keep Kaiser hospitals safe by ensuring everything inside and outside the building is running smoothly – testing emergency generators, fire lights, hot water boilers, cooling towers, and maintaining every single patient room and all bathrooms. They also maintain medical equipment – ventilators, life support machines, pumps, IV machines, and every other machine used to keep patients alive.

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.

More than 58,000 Kaiser Permanente employees are members of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW). Local 39 represents approximately 700 engineers across Kaiser. They join tens of thousands of Kaiser workers across the West Coast who are expressing their discontent with the healthcare giant through pickets, strikes, and other actions in California and Oregon.


WHAT: Healthcare workers wearing uniforms and picketing with signs, handing out

   leaflets, chanting, blowing whistles in protest of Kaiser’s short-staffing and in

support of striking Local 39 union members.


WHEN: Monday, Oct 18, 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: Kaiser Modesto Medical Center

4601 Dale Rd, Modesto, CA 95356

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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. Learn more at www.seiu-uhw.org.