WASHINGTON - Hundreds of Kaiser Permanente healthcare workers in the D.C. region, and tens of thousands more across the nation, could strike this week amid ongoing labor negotiations.
Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic Region representative Janet Davis says about 400 optometrists and pharmacists in Virginia and Washington, D.C. could strike for 24 hours beginning at 6 a.m., October 4 through 6 a.m., October 5.
As many as 75,000 healthcare workers with Kaiser Permanente across the county could take part in the strike. Other areas that could be affected include Colorado, California, Oregon, and Washington.
Union officials say Kaiser's refusal to acknowledge under-staffing, the decline in patient care, and wages that do not keep up with the high cost of living are pushing them toward a strike.
Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic says, in the D.C. region, the strike would not include nurses or physicians.
Please note that a strike notice does not mean a strike will happen. In fact, for the last 26 years of our historic labor-management partnership, we have reached agreements with the Coalition every time, with no strikes.
"Our top priority is caring for our members and patients, and we have comprehensive plans in place to ensure we can continue to provide high-quality care should a strike occur in October," Davis told FOX 5 last month. " In the event of a 24-hour strike on October 4, we expect most of our facilities to remain open and operating with minimal disruption."
Davis also added that over the last 26 years, agreements have been reached with the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions and strikes have been averted.