Wednesday, January 21, 2015

More News from NUHW’s Strike at Kaiser Permanente

By all accounts, NUHW’s members carried off quite a strike at Kaiser last week. The one-week strike, which ended Monday morning, was honored by nearly 100% of NUHW’s 4,000 members, according to Tasty’s sources.

Kaiser's patients and their family members -- including public officials and a popular newspaper columnist -- stepped forward and publicized their own horror stories about Kaiser's under-staffed mental health clinics. Patients even brought homemade signs and walked picket lines with the striking workers.

One county official -- who lost her husband to suicide after Kaiser delayed his care -- sent this letter of support to striking mental health clinicians.

NUHW has documented more than a dozen suicides directly connected to Kaiser's excessive wait times and under-staffed clinics -- including three suicides by the family members of sitting elected officials in California.

In Oakland, hundreds of workers gathered in front of Kaiser's national headquarters and chanted, "No more suicides!”

Meanwhile, Kaiser's operating engineers joined workers in a sympathy strike. And firefighters -- the first responders who care for many people in mental health crises -- volunteered to
cook meals for hundreds of strikers on Friday.

The Massachusetts Nurses Association donated $5,000 to the striking workers.

The strike received massive press attention across the U.S., including this piece on NPR's national weekend broadcast. The strike even got international coverage like this piece published in London.

And on a more humorous note... check out one worker's creative re-writing of Kaiser's post-strike e-mail to workers. The original message, penned by two of Kaiser's overpaid corporate hacks named GregAdams and Robbie Pearl, was so jam-packed with corporate-speak and mealy-mouthed misinformation that the worker was compelled to set the record straight by clowning its dishonest authors.