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
WASHINGTON, D.C. – 3,800 D.C., Virginia, and Maryland healthcare workers who are part of OPEIU Local 2 announced on Monday that they have voted to authorize a strike to protest unfair labor practices by a margin of 98 percent if no agreement is reached by September 30. This comes on the heels of nearly 65,000 SEIU members in Colorado, California, Oregon, and Southwest Washington voting to authorize a strike at Kaiser Permanente in the past two weeks.
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.
“We’ve been raising the alarm about patient safety, but Kaiser isn’t hearing us. Kaiser executives keep refusing to listen to frontline healthcare workers on the issues that impact the care of our patients, and they’re violating the law by failing to bargain in good faith,” said Katrina Schaetz, OB-GYN clinical assistant. “We are standing up for more staff and better patient care. If Kaiser doesn't stop committing unfair labor practices, healthcare workers are prepared to go on strike.”