Headline RoundupOctober 4th, 2023

75,000 Healthcare Workers Strike at Kaiser Permanente

Summary from the AllSides News Team

More than 75,000 workers at the nation’s largest healthcare nonprofit went on strike in five states on Wednesday, marking the largest healthcare strike in recent history. 

The Details: Kaiser Permanente said it was prepared to care for patients while nurses, technicians, pharmacists, and workers in hundreds of other positions walked out at Kaiser hospitals and medical offices in California, Colorado, Oregon, Virginia, Washington state, and Washington, D.C. 

The Controversy: The workers are asking for Kaiser to accept a proposal to address staffing shortages, as well as a 24.5% raise over four years. The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions accused Kaiser executives of “bad faith bargaining,” saying the company made “$3 billion in profits in the first six months of this year.” Kaiser said it was committed to a fair and equitable agreement, but added that “we are still in a health care crisis in this country” and “it will take time to recover as an industry and stabilize the U.S. health care system.”

For Context: The United Auto Workers strike, which captured the attention of the media as well as current and former presidents, has so far only engaged 25,000 of the UAW’s roughly 146,000 members — about one-third the size of the Kaiser strike. 

How the Media Covered It: Some headlines potentially sensationalized the story by emphasizing that the walkout was the “largest healthcare strike in U.S. history.” Fox Business (Lean Right bias) appeared to quote Kaiser’s statement more directly than other sources.

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