California Hospital Strikes: Health Care At Center Of Labor Disputes

September 20th, 2011

The Huffington Post:

California Hospital Strikes: Health Care At Center Of Labor Disputes

By Dave Jamieson

More than 20,000 nurses and hospital workers will likely go on strike throughout California later this week, in one of the largest such work stoppages the state has seen in years.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the walkout will be largely the result of a dispute over health care benefits for workers who deliver health care, labor leaders say.

“There are major cuts to health care and retirement benefits on the table,” said Leighton Woodhouse, a spokesman for the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW), the union negotiating with Kaiser Permanente. “These cuts are unacceptable.”

Starting Wednesday the strikes would affect dozens of hospitals across the state, including facilities under Kaiser and Sutter Health, two of the largest providers in California. Most of the workers will be walking off for 24 hours, although some will be off the job for longer. More than 1,000 registered nurses at Los Angeles Medical Center, a Kaiser hospital with NUHW employees, plan to strike for three full days, marking the third and longest of their strikes during negotiations with management.

Read the full article at The Huffington Post.