Over 75,000 workers at Kaiser Permanente, the largest nonprofit healthcare provider in the United States, have threatened to strike if a deal isn’t reached to address a staffing crisis by the end of the current month. A union coalition representing workers at Kaiser Permanente has warned that members will go on strike for three days in October if an agreement isn’t reached. The strike would impact hundreds of healthcare facilities across several states, including California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Virginia, and Washington D.C.
The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions issued this ultimatum after the final bargaining session ended without a resolution. The unions have set the strike dates from October 4 to 6, starting when the current contract expires on September 30.
Kaiser Permanente is a major healthcare provider, serving nearly 13 million patients and operating numerous hospitals and medical offices across eight states and the District of Columbia. The unions argue that Kaiser has failed to address a staffing crisis that has led to dangerous wait times for patients.
The coalition includes various healthcare workers, such as medical assistants, surgical and lab technicians, pharmacists, and administrative staff. Last week, several unions representing these workers voted overwhelmingly in favor of authorizing strikes at Kaiser.
Kaiser has disputed the unions’ claims, describing them as misleading and urging employees to resist the call for a strike. They maintain that they have a history of reaching agreements with the coalition, avoiding strikes for the past 26 years.
The dispute highlights ongoing challenges in the healthcare industry, particularly in relation to staffing and patient care.