Representatives for Kaiser Permanente workers have announced that over 75,000 employees will be going on strike, making it the largest healthcare strike in U.S. history. The strike is being organized by unionized healthcare workers, such as nurses and EMTs, who are currently in negotiations for new contracts with Kaiser Permanente. Their demands include higher wages, job security, and solutions to address labor shortages.
The SEIU Local 49, the worker’s union, has stated that the strike will last for three days, and picket lines will be set up at Kaiser Permanente hospitals and medical offices nationwide, including those in Oregon. This news follows the recent strike by pharmacy workers at Kaiser Permanente locations in Oregon and southwest Washington, which started on Sunday morning.
The strike is a significant development in the ongoing struggle for better working conditions and fair compensation in the healthcare industry. The workers’ demands highlight the need for increased pay to compensate for the demanding and often stressful nature of their job, as well as job protections to ensure that their rights and benefits are safeguarded.
Labor shortages have been an ongoing issue in the healthcare sector, particularly exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The strike serves as a powerful indication of the deep frustration felt by workers who are on the frontlines of patient care but feel undervalued and underappreciated.
It is important to recognize the dedication and sacrifice of healthcare workers, who play a critical role in ensuring the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. The strike is a call for action, urging healthcare providers and institutions to prioritize the welfare of their workers and work towards creating a fair and supportive working environment.