The largest healthcare strike in US history is set to take place on Wednesday as a coalition of eight unions representing 75,000 employees of Kaiser Permanente has failed to reach an agreement with the company. The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, which consists of workers from various locations across six states, is seeking pay raises, improvements to their pension plans, and protections against outsourcing. Despite good discussions, the coalition remains far apart from the company on important issues. The contract between the coalition and Kaiser officially expired on Saturday night, but the company plans to negotiate in good faith and continue operations normally until the strike happens.
Kaiser Permanente, in a statement a few hours before the contract expired, expressed optimism about reaching an agreement and avoiding the strike. The company stated that contract expirations do not guarantee a strike and reassured that contingency plans are in place to maintain safe and high-quality care for its members throughout the strike. The hospitals and emergency departments will remain open. However, the coalition’s announcement of the strike indicates a significant disagreement with the company, suggesting that the negotiation process has so far been unsuccessful in bridging the gap between the two parties.
As this is a developing story, more updates are expected, and CNN has reached out to the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions for further comments on the situation.