About 1,000 health care workers protested in Oakland Monday to show Kaiser Permanente they’re serious about a potential strike in October, after negotiations for a new contract stalled.
Kaiser Permanente employees and their families rallied at Mosswood Park in Oakland and then marched to Kaiser’s Oakland Medical Center. The streets surrounding the hospital, at West MacArthur Boulevard and Broadway, shut down as protesters peacefully blocked traffic.
Employees represented by the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions have been without a contract since September of last year. They said Kaiser is not bargaining fairly with them and is outsourcing jobs that would otherwise go to union members.
This impacts patient care, union members said. Sonya Allen-Smith is a radiology technician at the hospital. She has worked for Kaiser for 10 years and says things have changed recently.
"We see the change in higher patient wait times in the hospital, less time that we can give to patients at times," she said.