Union News


Largest healthcare worker strike in U.S. history will span hundreds of hospitals and facilities across the nation

  • 3 October 2023

LOS ANGELES – More than 75,000 Kaiser Permanente workers in multiple states – including many OPEIU members -- will go on strike on Wednesday to protest unfair labor practices and unsafe staffing levels at hundreds of Kaiser hospitals and facilities across the United States. The strike, which is expected to last for three days, will be the largest health care worker strike in U.S. history. 

Healthcare workers are taking the work action to protest Kaiser executives’ bad faith bargaining, which is getting in the way of finding solutions to solve the Kaiser short-staffing crisis by investing in its workforce.

"Kaiser executives are refusing to listen to us and are bargaining in bad faith over the solutions we need to end the Kaiser short-staffing crisis," said Jessica Cruz, a licensed vocational nurse at Kaiser Los Angeles Medical Center. "I see my patients’ frustrations when I have to rush them and hurry on to my next patient. That’s not the care I want to give. We’re burning ourselves out trying to do the jobs of two or three people, and our patients suffer when they can't get the care they need due to Kaiser's short-staffing." 

Strike lines will be set up at Kaiser Permanente hospitals and medical office buildings across the country, including California, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. 

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  • 2 October 2023

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  • 22 September 2023
Following today’s final bargaining session, healthcare workers issued a 10-day Unfair Labor Practice strike notice to Kaiser executives.

OAKLAND, Calif. - More than 75,000 healthcare workers at Kaiser Permanente will strike October 4-6 to protest Kaiser executives’ bad faith bargaining over solutions to end the Kaiser short staffing crisis. The unfair labor practice strike will take place for three days at hundreds of Kaiser Permanente facilities across California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Virginia, and Washington D.C. The negotiations are the largest single-employer labor negotiations occurring in the United States and the strike would be the largest healthcare strike in U.S. history.

Frontline healthcare workers have been sounding the alarm about how the Kaiser short staffing crisis is hurting patients and employees across the U.S., but Kaiser executives have refused to listen.

"We’ve repeatedly raised our concerns with Kaiser executives about the Kaiser short-staffing crisis, but they are bargaining in bad faith and refusing to listen to us," said Audrey Cardenas Loera, a fees and benefits support specialist at Kaiser Permanente in Hillsboro, Oregon. “Healthcare workers see how Kaiser patients are forced to wait unsafe lengths of time for cancer screenings, room assignments, test results, primary care appointments, x-rays, surgeries, waiting in emergency rooms, and more. We simply want our patients to be safe and get the care that they deserve.”

IRC Workers Unite, OPEIU Local 277 Prepared to Obtain their NLRB Recognition and Bargaining Order

  • 20 September 2023

DALLAS, TEXAS — A supermajority of workers at the International Rescue Committee (IRC), known as IRC Workers Unite, OPEIU Local 277, are prepared to obtain their NLRB recognition and bargaining order following their employer’s refusal to recognize their union.

Two weeks ago, more than 70 percent of workers at the international humanitarian nonprofit requested from their employer voluntary recognition of their union with OPEIU Local 277. IRC denied the request for voluntary recognition and, per the NLRB’s recent ruling in Cemex, filed a request for an election with the NLRB. The nonprofit is now sending employees from outside Texas to hold anti-union meetings with IRC Dallas employees.

“We are disappointed by our employer’s decision to deny voluntary recognition of our union after demonstrating a supermajority of support among IRC staff,” said Alina Zarate, budget and planning coordinator, finance department at the nonprofit for one and half years. “But we are looking forward to winning our union through the NLRB and starting the collective bargaining process shortly thereafter.”

“We hope to swiftly begin negotiating a fair first contract that reflects IRC staff priorities such as equitable pay and transparency in funding,” Zarate said. 

7,000 more CA healthcare workers overwhelmingly vote to approve a strike at Kaiser Permanente, including 2,500 in the Bay Area

  • 20 September 2023
7,000 more CA healthcare workers overwhelmingly vote to approve a strike at Kaiser Permanente, including 2,500 in the Bay Area

Largest single-employer union negotiation in the U.S. inches closer to strike over unfair labor practices

Healthcare workers say Kaiser’s refusal to acknowledge under-staffing, decline in patient care is driving a growing crisis 

OAKLAND, CA – 2,500 Bay Area healthcare workers who are part of OPEIU Local 29 announced on Wednesday that they have voted to authorize a strike to protest unfair labor practices by a margin of 94% if no agreement is reached by September 30. Simultaneously,  4,500 healthcare workers belonging to OPEIU Local 30 in San Diego have also announced their authorization of a strike, underscoring the widespread concerns of short staffing and unfair labor practices with an equally commanding margin of 99% should negotiations remain unresolved by the same September 30th deadline.

This comes on the heels of nearly 70,000 SEIU and OPEIU members in Colorado, California, Oregon, Southwest Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland voting to authorize a strike at Kaiser Permanente in the past two weeks. These two decisive votes of OPEIU Local 29 and OPEIU Local 30 are the last to be completed before the coalition enters the final scheduled negotiations with Kaiser, concluding this Friday, September 22. 

This could be the largest healthcare strike in U.S. history, as workers say Kaiser executives refuse to acknowledge the decline in patient service and care and negate the struggle of the workforce to keep up with the high cost of living in areas where Kaiser operates.

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​The Office and Professional Employees International Union was chartered in 1945 and​, with more than ​90,000 members, we’re one of the larger unions of the AFL-CIO. OPEIU has locals ​throughout the United States and Canada.

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