Hospitals At Risk After 30k Workers Threaten to Strike

Hospitals At Risk After 30k Workers Threaten to Strike

(ReliableNews.org) – The nation’s hospital workers have spent nearly two years saving lives during the largest pandemic in over 100 years. Now, there’s finally light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, but workers face a new enemy — this time from their employers.

On November 15, thousands of healthcare workers plan to strike against wage proposals introduced by Kaiser Permanente. The managed care organization is headquartered in Oakland, California and operates in eight states in the Pacific Northwest, Mid-Atlantic, California, Colorado, Georgia and Hawaii.

Roughly 21,000 workers in southern California and about 32,000 in Oregon and southwestern Washington plan to join the strike. Additionally, another 8,000 Kaiser Permanente workers in Colorado, Hawaii, and the remainder of Washington may join the strike. The strike in Oregon and southwestern Washington could affect as many as 64 Kaiser Permanente facilities and, if the strike spreads, an additional 300 in southern California.

The labor unions have been unable to resolve differences with Kaiser Permanente regarding the consortium’s plan to introduce a two-tiered wage-earning system. Under its proposed plan, newly hired workers would receive lower wages for performing the same duties as their more senior colleagues.

Representatives from Kaiser Permanente said they remain hopeful the two sides can get together and resolve the issue before November 15. However, if talks break down, Kaiser says it will bring in “contingency staff” as needed to work alongside its “trained and experienced managers… to care for patients during the strike.”

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