In the wake of the labor movement sweeping through the country of strikes and resignations, workers at Kaiser Permanente are throwing their own hats in the ring to improve their working conditions. More than 30,000 employees are in contract negotiations with their employer, and if the talks continue at their current standstill, the workers plan to strike on November 15, 2021.
Who is Part of the Strike?
The workers who are planning to strike on this day are members of the United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals, the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, and United Steelworkers Local 7600, which represents Kaiser workers in California . Kaiser workers from across the country also voted overwhelmingly to strike, and proceeded to give Kaiser a 10 day notice that they would if their needs continued to go unmet.
What Lead to the Want to Strike?
While the healthcare sector has been devastated by the pandemic, union workers fear the cuts in wages Kaiser plans to make will worsen existing staffing issues. Kaiser’s initial offer would have cut wages for future hires by between 26 and 39 percent, which was later reduced to a 15 percent cut. This two-tier work system between existing workers and future hires have given workers at Kaiser cause for concern.
They fear that new hires will start to resent more senior hires for getting paid less for doing the same work, leading to hostility in the workplace and more resignations. Current workers also fear that they will begin to phase out their positions in favor for the lesser-paid workers.
Staffing at hospitals and other healthcare facilities have reached crisis status. Nurses recount having to wait hours more than they should on their already long shifts, and fears that the two-tier system of workers could result in even fewer workers and more burden on the staff. More people leaving, being hired, and then quitting could lead to more devastation for a workforce already so hard hit by the pandemic.
If the contract demands are not met by November 15, these workers will go on strike. They will join other large companies, like Kellogg and John Deere, who are on strike to fight similar working and pay conditions.
Reach Out to Our Law Firm If You Working Conditions Are Unlawful
If you have been experiencing subpar working conditions, wage theft, or a hostile work environment, let the attorneys at Makarem & Associates fight for you. Their dedication, drive, and determination is sure to get you the outcome you deserve. Contact us today at (310) 312-0299 or [email protected].