75,000 Kaiser workers in America strike for low pay and staff shortages
According to the leaders of the unions that represent healthcare workers, the strike that began on Wednesday involved more than 75,000 Kaiser Permanente employees in California and throughout the world. This makes it the greatest strike involving healthcare workers in the history of the United States.
Kaiser workers strike over pay and employment
Kaiser Permanente employees walked off the job in California and across the country on Wednesday.
In total, 75,000 Kaiser Permanente employees went on strike, with 60,000 of them in California.
The signs read, "Put Patients First!" and explain a large part of the story of the striking Kaiser Permanente employees.
"We are begging for resources to do our job," says Joshua Barba, an operating room surgical technician at Kaiser Walnut Creek. "We want (Kaiser) to address the short staffing crisis that we have (at) hand."
Barba is one of 75,000 employees on strike across the country, making this one of the largest health-care worker strikes in American history.
We don't want nurses sleeping in their cars
Health care workers striking around the country are battling for higher pay and benefits, especially in pricey states like California, where the majority of the 75,000 striking Kaiser Permanente employees walked off the job on Wednesday.
"We don't want to see nurses sleeping in their cars because they have to travel two hours to get home because they can't afford California's high cost of living." That is why we are pleading for an increase in... minimum pay," said Rocio Chacon, a striking Kaiser employee who also works on the union's bargaining committee.
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Licensed vocational nurses, X-ray technicians, surgical technicians, phlebotomists, certified nursing assistants, pharmacy technicians, and respiratory therapists are among those participating in the strike at Kaiser. Other support personnel, such as housekeepers and food service workers, are also participating in the strike.
The huge strike, which impacts more than a third of Kaiser's total workforce across the country, is now being participated in by employees in a number of states and the District of Columbia, including California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. In most states, the strike is scheduled to last for three days, however in Virginia and the District of Columbia, it is only set to last for one day.
Kaiser workers strike against low pay and understaffing
In a year of unprecedented labor organization and work stoppages, 75,000 Kaiser Permanente workers began a major health care strike Wednesday in numerous states.
Kaiser is one of Washington's leading insurers and health care systems with 39 facilities. The Oakland, California-based nonprofit covers almost 13 million people through clinics and hospitals it operates or contracts with. With her to care, according AFP.
The Kaiser Permanent union coalition, which represents 85,000 health system workers, believes staffing shortages impair patient care.