Health workers protest job cuts at Kaiser Permanente

DOWNEY, CA — While many people took the day off, some health workers in California went to work, demanding that one of the states largest employers, keeps its workers, rather than use outsourcing to cut costs.
About a thousand workers hit the streets of Downey, California, and Oakland on Labor Day, denouncing job cuts by hospital giant Kaiser Permanente.
Protestors, many of them Kaiser employees, say that as many as 800 jobs in California are being outsourced in an attempt to save money.
The agreements between the unions and Kaiser, one of California’s largest private employers with 149,000 employees, is set to expire at the end of the month.
Union leaders and workers, like these Filipinos at the Downey warehouse, say they’d be out of work if the plans push through.
While they say these are jobs lost by longtime employees, they claim the quality of patient care will also be affected.
“Patient care is the most important thing for us, making sure they have what they need in the hospital settings, making sure the dialysis are being treated correctly. And just having patient care.”
The day of action resulted in a series of arrests for civil disobedience, after demonstrators blocked off the hospital entrance — among those temporarily detained by police was Filipina union leader Cass Gualvez.
In a statement, Kaiser Vice President of Communications John Nelson says that they are disappointed that the SEIU-UHW has chosen to mischaracterize Kaiser’s strong commitment to labor.
They say they’ve added more than 13 thousand jobs in the past 3 years, including 12 thousand open staff positions, and will continue to add more jobs, including blue collar jobs.
The action was not a strike, and the hospital assured that despite the noise patient caste was not affected by the action.
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