Workers say that hospital executives are refusing to fix dire understaffing issues.

by Sharon Zhang, Truthout

Over 75,000 health care workers for Kaiser Permanente hospitals across the country began striking on Wednesday morning, launching what the union says is the largest health care strike in U.S. history after workers’ contract expired on Saturday with no new agreement in place.

The striking workers are largely concentrated in California, though thousands of workers have also walked out in Oregon, Washington and Colorado for a planned three-day strike. Meanwhile, roughly 400 workers in Washington, D.C. and Virginia are walking out for one day. Striking employees include vocational nurses, emergency department, X-ray and radiology technicians, sonographers, pharmacists, and more.

strike signs lying on the ground

Like workers in many other recent health care strikes, Kaiser workers are frustrated with issues of understaffing, saying that Kaiser management seems to neglect patient care in favor of profits. Employees have reported being overworked and unable to properly address all of their patients’ concerns due to high patient loads and strict time constraints.

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