Health care workers marched and rallied in Los Feliz on Labor Day to draw attention to what organizers say are long patient wait times, missed diagnosis, neglect and chronic understaffing in patient care.
A group of AFM Local 47 members and leadership joined in the event which included appearances by many dignitaries, including California State Senator Maria Elena Durazo and U.S. Representative Katie Porter.
The national bargaining team for the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions is negotiating a new contract with the health care organization to replace the one that expired Sept. 30. The coalition issued a 10-day strike notice for more than 75,000 Kaiser healthcare workers across seven states and the District of Columbia. The unions told Kaiser that their members would take limited “unfair labor practices” walkouts from October 4 through October 7.
If the unions proceed with the strike, which was authorized near unanimously by the rank and file, it would be the largest such action by healthcare workers in U.S. history. Though it only affects dozens of Kaiser facilities that include hospitals, medical offices and clinics, it would give a critical impetus for the millions of other healthcare workers across the country and internationally who faced years of understaffing, shortages and low pay even before their working conditions were upended by the COVID-19 pandemic.