Kaiser Permanente workers plan rally and march for Labor Day

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Labor Day will be marked in Los Angeles today by a rally and march in East Hollywood in support of Kaiser Permanente workers.

The 30-minute rally will begin at 10 a.m. at Los Angeles City College. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, is set to attend, an aide said.

The rally will be followed by a march to Kaiser Permanente’s Los Angeles Medical Center.

Nearly 50 march participants are expected to engage in civil disobedience by blocking an intersection near the medical center, including United Farm Workers President Teresa Romero, according to Jacob Hay, one of the rally and march’s organizers.

Similar Labor Day protests by Kaiser Permanente workers are planned for Oakland, Sacramento and Portland, Oregon.

Kaiser Permanente workers across the state have voted overwhelmingly to authorize their union to call a strike if a labor contract cannot be reached.

Hay said The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions is seeking a new contract that would:

  • “Restore a true worker-management partnership, and have Kaiser bargain in good faith;”
  • “Ensure safe staffing and compassionate use of technology”;
  • “Build the workforce of the future to deal with major projected shortages of licensed and accredited staff in the coming years”; and
  • “Protect middle-class jobs with wages and benefits that can support families.”

Arlene Peasnall,  Kaiser Permanente’s senior vice president, human resources, said “Kaiser Permanente has a long and productive history with organized labor.”

“Our efforts to involve our workforce in decision-making and create an environment of continuous learning and improvement over the past 70-plus years have set the bar for how labor and management can work together,” Peasnall said.

“Just last fall, we successfully negotiated a contract with the Alliance of Health Care Unions that established a strong partnership that improves our working environment and rewards our employees with highly competitive wages, benefits and advancement programs.”

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