Two Bay Area Unions Approve Sympathy Strike to Support SEIU-UHW Kaiser Permanente Workers

Two Bay Area Unions Approve Sympathy Strike to Support SEIU-UHW Kaiser Permanente Workers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 29, 2023

OAKLAND, Calif. – Bay Area unions IFPTE local, 20 and OPEIU local 29 have approved a sympathy strike in support of the unfair labor practices strike at Kaiser Permanente hospitals and medical offices in California being called for by SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West between October 4-6.

A “sympathy strike” occurs when one union supports another union that is directly involved in a labor dispute.

“Kaiser’s unfair labor practices against SEIU-UHW in our local bargaining have not been remedied,” said Erica Chinchilla, a respiratory therapist at Kaiser Antioch. “A sympathy strike is a powerful act of solidarity where workers strike to support or aid another group of workers. We appreciate our Coalition partners’ willingness to stand with us as we protest these unfair labor practices committed by Kaiser in local bargaining against SEIU-UHW and its members.”

SEIU-UHW members include frontline workers such as respiratory care practitioners, dietary, environmental services, and nursing staff. OPEIU Local 29 represents office, technical and professional employees at Kaiser Permanente. IFPTE Local 20 represents clinical lab scientists, home health therapists, optometrists, genetic counselors, and other technical and professional employees at Kaiser.

Laboratory scientists provide information medical doctors need to properly diagnose and treat patients, as well as ensure correct blood products are given to patients during surgery or an emergency. Kaiser has not informed IFPTE Local 20 of coverage plans of this important work.

Unions in Oregon, Southwest Washington, Colorado, Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., which are part of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, are also planning unfair labor practices strikes at the same time.

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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. Learn more at