75,000+ Kaiser Permanente workers walked off the job Wednesday in what’s described as the largest healthcare worker strike in U.S. history.

“This morning at 6 a.m. Pacific health care workers at Kaiser Permanente walked out on strike. 75,000 workers just launched the biggest strike the U.S. health care industry has ever seen,” More Perfect Union wrote.

Workers and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions cited “bad faith bargaining” by Kaiser executives as negotiations focused on reduced staffing and long hours.

“The largest healthcare strike in US history is happening today. 75k+ Kaiser Permanente healthcare workers across the country are on the picket lines right now. ‘Patients. Not profits.’ Reporting from the Kaiser Permanente Springfield Medical Center,” said journalist Katie Hawkinson.

Kaiser Permanente workers in California reportedly urged executives to “put patients first” as they walked off the job, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

“Healthcare workers want to be at the facilities with their patients,” said Renée Saldaña, spokesperson for SEIU United Healthcare Workers West, which represents nearly 60,000 workers in the coalition including nursing assistants, housekeepers and medical assistants. “They’re doing this for their patients because of the delays in care, because of the short-staffing crisis.”

Armando Velasco, an X-ray technologist who has worked more than three decades at the medical center on Sunset Boulevard, said staff shortages forced him into “doing the job of five techs.” The workload left him exhausted and worried about patients getting enough attention.

“It’s just unfortunate for the patients that their service is lacking because Kaiser refuses to sit down in good faith to bargain and address that,” Velasco said. “It’s about patient care.”

Kaiser leaders said that they had bargained in good faith and that solid wages, benefits and other employee support helped Kaiser weather the national strain on healthcare staffing better than other providers. They said employee turnover at Kaiser was far below the industry average.

“This 4-day strike will take place at hundreds of facilities in California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Virginia and Washington DC. And the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions says that if management doesn’t move another, longer strike will be called,” More Perfect Union added.

More footage of workers walking off the job in California:

The Guardian writes:

Kaiser Permanente serves 12.7 million members in California, Washington, Oregon, Georgia, Hawaii, Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia. The non-profit has reported more than $3bn in profits in the first half of 2023 and has paid at least 49 corporate executives salaries exceeding $1m annually.

Keven Dardon, a patient access representative at Kaiser Permanente’s Sunnyside medical center in Clackamas, Oregon, for 14 years, said that prior to the Covid-19 pandemic his department was staffed with about 60 employees and now has been operating with less than 40 after cuts to the department, which has resulted in long lines and delays for patients trying to check into their appointments.


“It’s really taken a toll in the hospital setting and in the medical offices that we have here,” said Dardon. “That’s what we’re fighting for. Our frontline employees are demanding Kaiser Permanente executives come to the table, we’ve proposed the things that would fix the staffing issue, we’ve made tons of proposals, but because our executives just aren’t listening to us, they are just not coming to the table to even entertain those proposals.”

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