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SoCal nurses planning one-day strike at Kaiser

Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center.
Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center.
planetc1/Flickr (cc by-nc-nd)

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Thousands of nurses and other Kaiser Permanente employees plan to walk off their jobs tomorrow.

A spokesman for the National Union of Healthcare Workers, Leighton Woodhouse, said Kaiser has proposed “major cuts” to health care and retirement benefits, and has refused to discuss including patient ratios in a new labor contract. Woodhouse said nurses regularly handle what he called an unsafe number of patients.

Kaiser has denied that. It said in a statement that the company pays its employees well. A company spokesman said the bargaining table — not the picket line — is the best place to resolve differences.

More than a thousand nurses and other employees plan to stay off the job for three days at the massive Kaiser facility on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. Thousands of workers at dozens of other Kaiser hospitals and clinics in the region plan to strike for one day.

Kaiser says it’ll bring in replacement workers, but it may postpone some elective procedures. The job action coincides with another by some 20,000 Kaiser and Sutter Health workers in Northern California. They’re also protesting proposed cuts to healthcare and retirement benefits.