Kaiser May Face Nurses Union Sympathy Strike

The union representing Kaiser Permanente’s nurses says thousands of its caregivers may walk off the job Jan. 31 in an echo of mass demonstrations at hospitals in September if labor talks between Kaiser and a sister union stall.
Kaiser and the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW), which represents mental health professionals, therapists and optical workers in Northern California, have been in contract negotiations for months over pension benefits, health care coverage and staffing issues.
NUHW spokesman Leighton Woodhouse said last week that his union’s leaders had not yet decided to give the go-ahead for a Jan. 31 walkout.
“We have not submitted a strike notice” to Kaiser officials, Woodhouse said. A one-day picket remained an option, he said, and Jan. 31 “is a day that member leaders are discussing as a potential strike day.”
But officials at California Nurses Association/National Nurses United said they are considering a one-day walkout in support of the smaller National Union of Healthcare Workers if it calls its members off the job that day.

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