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Healthcare workers give Kaiser strike notice. Fresno workers could walk out in 12 days

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A coalition of unionized Kaiser Permanente healthcare workers delivered a 10-day strike notice to the nonprofit health care provider, threatening a three-day work stoppage Oct. 4 through Oct. 6 if they don’t reach a deal before the end of the month.

More than 75,000 Kaiser workers in California and other states plan to join the “the largest healthcare strike in U.S. history” if it comes to that, a news release Friday from the coalition said.

This is also the plan for Fresno’s Kaiser facilities, according to Melanie Reno, a local union member and cytotechnologist at Fresno’s Kaiser Medical Center.

Roughly 1,500 workers at Kaiser’s Fresno Medical Center and multiple offices around the county plan to join the potential Kaiser strike.

Locally, the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West covers lab technicians, respiratory therapists, cooking staff, housekeepers, and other healthcare workers at Kaiser’s Fresno facilities.

Fresnoland reached out to Kaiser Permanente and the coalition for further comment.

The coalition is fighting for better wages to combat what they describe as a staffing crisis. One of their proposals includes a $26 per hour minimum wage within Kaiser.

The healthcare nonprofit has insisted that the strike authorization votes from coalition members don’t reflect a breakdown in bargaining and have expressed confidence in their ability to reach a new deal by the Sept. 30 deadline, when the national contract for healthcare workers expires.

This article first appeared on Fresnoland and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.