Health-care workers at Kaiser Permanente’s Oakland Medical Center on Broadway walked off their jobs on Wednesday morning, joining roughly 75,000 other Kaiser employees across five states in a strike that’s anticipated to last three days. The action is expected to be the largest health-care workers strike in U.S. history.
A coalition of unions representing the striking workers has accused the health provider of unfair labor practices and bargaining in bad faith. The coalition and the company began the bargaining process in April and the labor contract expired on Sept. 30, according to a statement from the union.
A core issue for the employees has been understaffing, which they say has led to “dangerously long wait times, mistaken diagnosis, and neglect,” according to the statement. They are calling on Kaiser management to provide “safe staffing levels.”
Some of the jobs impacted by the strike include emergency department technicians, vocational nurses, radiology, x-ray and ultrasound technicians, respiratory therapists, certified nursing assistants, behavioral health workers, home health aides, pharmacy workers, and surgical technicians.
The Oaklandside’s visual journalist Amir Aziz was onsite Wednesday morning at the Oakland Medical Center to capture photographs from the picket line.