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World News October 5, 2023

75,000 U.S. healthcare workers begin largest strike for better pay

Tens of thousands of healthcare workers across the United States, primarily from Kaiser Permanente, a major nonprofit health provider, initiated the largest healthcare worker strike in U.S. history. Over 75,000 employees, including nurses, technicians, pharmacists, and others, went on strike due to unsuccessful contract negotiations, seeking improved pay, benefits, and long-term investments to address staffing shortages. The strike, spanning several states, particularly affecting California, will last for three days. Workers demand a 6.5 percent pay increase for the first two years and 5.75 percent for the subsequent two, whereas Kaiser offers 3 percent annually.

The union alleges unsafe working conditions and patient care deterioration due to short staffing, and criticized Kaiser for not negotiating in good faith despite reporting significant profits. While the strike may cause delays in appointments and procedures, hospitals and emergency departments remain open with non-union staff. This strike reflects a broader trend of increased labor activity in the U.S. this year, with over 300,000 workers participating in work stoppages by August, spanning various industries including automotive and entertainment.

Source – CGTN

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