USW Local 7600 files strike notice for 7,400 health care workers in SoCal

United Steelworkers (USW) Local 7600 has officially given Kaiser Permanente management a 10-day notice of its intent to strike over unfair labor practices beginning on Mon., Nov. 15, 2021.

The USW and Kaiser management, along with 20 other local unions who belong to the Alliance of Health Care Unions (AHCU), have been negotiating since this past spring over a labor agreement that will cover roughly 50,000 health care workers in nearly every geographic area where Kaiser Permanente has a presence.

“We are prepared to meet with management all day, every day if that’s what it will take to reach a fair agreement for these essential workers,” said AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer and USW Vice President of Human Affairs Fred Redmond, who leads the union’s health care sector bargaining.  “Our union will continue to bargain in good faith, and we strongly urge Kaiser to begin doing the same.”

The multi-billion-dollar health care giant has persistently tried to force workers to accept provisions like a two-tier wage scale that will make it harder to recruit and retain qualified staff. It also refuses to address the vast wage disparities between its Inland Empire workforce and other area workers doing the same jobs.

USW Local 7600 represents 7,400 workers across 72 Kaiser Permanente locations in Southern California. They work in a wide range of job classes, from respiratory care practitioners to surgical technicians, engineers to pharmacy technicians and assistants, licensed vocational nurses, dietary aides, environmental service workers, medical assistants, appointment clerks, phlebotomists, and more.

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