Nearly 150 KP Medical Facilities in Southern California and 2,500 Pharmacy Employees, from SD to Kern County, Impacted by Potential Work Stoppage
Los Angeles– Facing stalled negotiations and low-ball contract offers, six UFCW Local Unions in Southern California issued a 10-day notice of strike to Kaiser Permanente. The notice informed Kaiser of the members’ intention to engage in a strike and job actions including picketing and handbilling by pharmacy employees at all Kaiser Permanente locations in the Southern California region. Negotiations with the healthcare giant continued over the weekend.
If there’s no movement at the bargaining table, all pharmacy members including pharmacy techs, pharmacy assistants and pharmacy interns, at nearly 150 Kaiser Permanente locations will go out on strike on Thursday, November 18th at 7am.
“It’s a shame that Kaiser Permanente doesn’t take care of their own. For almost 2 years, we’ve been highly exposed to Covid-19 while we care for our patients. Some of my coworkers are not able to take time off because we’re short-staffed. We are also stressed and overworked. And we are ready to strike. Whatever it takes to win, we will do it for Kaiser to hear our voices,” said Tracy Cason, a pharmacy employee at Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Hills.
“We’ve sacrificed so much to make sure our patients are provided the best care possible, especially during this pandemic,” said Lucy Alcantar, a 32-year Lead Pharmacy Technician at the Central Refill Center Pharmacy in Downey. “Many of us got sick on the job, and we’re overworked and stressed. This is an opportunity for Kaiser to step up for health care workers by offering adequate wages and addressing our safety, staffing concerns.”
Approximately 2,500 pharmacy employees are represented by UFCW Locals 135 (San Diego), 324 (Los Angeles and Orange), 770 (Los Angeles, Ventura and Kern), 1167 (Riverside and San Bernardino), 1428 (Los Angeles and San Bernardino) and 1442 (Los Angeles). These locals represent roughly 4,000 Kaiser Permanente employees covered by multiple bargaining units and with contracts expiring on different dates.
The UFCW Locals in Southern California are part of the Alliance of Health Care Unions (AHCUnions), a coalition of 21 labor organizations that represent over 50,000 health care employees across the country, spread in seven regions including Southern and Northern California. Last Thursday, November 4th, UNAC/UHCP, USW Local 7600 and OFNHP, three of the Alliance’s largest unions with 32,000 members, served their own 10-day notice of strike.