FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 17, 2021
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Tens of thousands of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) members will be joined by OPEIU Local 29, IFPTE Local 20 in a sympathy strike to demand that Kaiser stop its economic bullying and agree to a fair contract with the Local 39 Operating Engineers. Workers will walk off the job and onto the strike line at 7 a.m., Thursday, November 18 at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in San Jose and at various facilities across Northern California.
More than 40,000 workers from SEIU-UHW, OPEIU Local 29, and IFPTE Local 20 are prepared to walk out in support of the engineers, making it the largest sympathy strike in the country.
“We are sympathy striking because Kaiser has lost its way and is putting its drive for profits over people, hurting our patients and union co-workers. The Local 39 engineers play a critical role in maintaining our facilities and the equipment we use to take care of patients,” said Ethan Ruskin, a health educator at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in San Jose. “Kaiser needs to put patients first and deliver a fair contract to the engineers.”
Earlier this week, healthcare workers representing SEIU-UHW’s 36,000 Kaiser Permanente members in Northern California voted by a 97% margin to authorize a one-day sympathy strike in solidarity with Kaiser engineers from Local 39 who have been on strike for two months.
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.
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.
Sympathy strikes will take place at the following locations starting at 7 a.m. on November 18:
Media Contact: Renée Saldaña – [email protected]
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.