Kaiser Permanente employees will picket outside the Kaiser Orange County facility Thursday to protest the health behemoth's plans to slash 1,350 jobs in coming months.
Kaiser workers in purple shirts are scheduled to chant, carry signs and speak with patients about the effects of job cuts on patient care from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at 411 North Lakeview Ave., Anaheim. The picketing is part of five weeks of events held by SEIU-UHW members, who have scheduled simultaneous protests at Kaiser facilities in Fresno and Santa Rosa on Thursday.
"This is a hard situation for our members," says Ronda McClelland, a laboratory assistant at Kaiser Walnut Creek, in a SEIU-UHW announcement. "Kaiser made $620 million and is building new hospitals--and then they want to get rid of our people. But we are going to support our members and fight this to the end." A few days after announcing in mid-August that its net income for the second quarter was $620 million, Kaiser Permanente indicated it would eliminate 1,350 SEIU-UHW positions statewide. The pickets precede upcoming bargaining sessions where SEIU-UHW members will discuss the layoffs with Kaiser management.
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More than 5,000 union members have attended 16 prior pickets in SEIU-UHW's statewide campaign, according to what is billed as the largest hospital and healthcare union in the western U.S., boasting more than 150,000 members. Nationwide, 2.1 million workers belong to SEIU labor unions.