Tens of thousands of health care workers in the United States walked off the job Wednesday, beginning one of the sector’s largest strikes in recent history, as America’s year of labour discontent rolled on.
The walkout of more than 75,000 workers at Kaiser Permanente, the country’s largest non-profit healthcare organisation, comes as surging inflation has spurred industrial action across the US, from Hollywood actors to Detroit auto workers.
People on the picket lines in Los Angeles yesterday said they were underpaid and overworked.
Kaiser Permanente locations in Washington DC, Virginia, California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington state were expected to be affected by the three-day strike.
A Kaiser spokesman told journalists on Tuesday that talks with the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions were continuing, and several agreements over specific provisions have been reached.
The union, which says this will be the largest health care worker strike in US history, is pushing for pay increases and protections against subcontracting and outsourcing of labour.
It has threatened to engage in further strike action in November if Kaiser continues to commit unfair labour practices.