Friday, September 15, 2023 1:13AM

60K Kaiser healthcare workers could go on strike after vote

SAN FRANCISCO — Nearly 60,000 healthcare workers at Kaiser Permanente overwhelmingly voted on Thursday to approve a strike.

While a walkout is not certain, this vote gives union leaders authority to call for a strike if no deal is reached between healthcare workers and Kaiser Permanente by Sept. 30. If that happens, this would be the largest healthcare strike in U.S. history.

SEIU-UHW, the union representing workers, is demanding increased wages and also wants Kaiser to address staffing shortages, among other issues.

Kaiser Permanente released a statement saying its priority is to reach an agreement that provides market-competitive pay and strong benefits for its union workers. Kaiser Permanente says it is confident there will be an agreement.

Kaiser says two more bargaining sessions are scheduled for next week.

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