“Largest” Health Care Workers Strike In U.S. History

October 4, 2023

We have folks getting injured on the job because they’re trying to do too much and see too many people and work too quickly. It’s not a sustainable situation.

Executive director of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, Caroline Lucas. More than 75,000 Kaiser Permanente employees are on strike from Wednesday through Saturday.

Why It Matters: On Wednesday, what’s described by the unions as the largest health care workers strike in United States history began as tens of thousands of health care workers from health care provider Kaiser Permanente began picketing. Their workers’ union contract expired on September 30, and staff are seeking improvements in staffing as well as wage increases amid high inflation. While the company has “agreed to accelerate hiring, setting a goal of hiring 10,000 new people for union-represented jobs by the end of 2023,” further negotiations remain ongoing for the largest nonprofit health care system in the country (CNN).

Hundreds of facilities across Oregon, Washington, California, Colorado, Virginia and Washington, D.C. are being impacted by the strike. The Associated Press notes, “The nonprofit company … said its 39 hospitals, including emergency rooms, will remain open during the picketing, though appointments and non-urgent procedures could be delayed.”

Read More:

More than 75,000 workers strike at hundreds of Kaiser Permanente health facilities across U.S. (CNBC)

75,000 Kaiser Permanente workers walk off the job. It’s the largest health care worker strike in US history (CNN)

by Emily Hooker, based in Texas