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Kaiser Pharmacy workers in SoCal join national strike preparation

Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center.
Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center.

Pharmacy clerks and techs at Kaiser hospitals and medical centers across Southern California are now the latest group to join preparations for a potential national strike if contract negotiations continue to stall.

The union pharmacy employees are members of six different UFCW locals in Southern California. They are holding meetings this week to discuss plans.

Kaiser’s union employees said they’ve been greatly impacted by COVID-19 citing brutal workloads, staff shortages, and illness and death from COVID. The contract renewals broke down when Kaiser announced a structure for raises that critics say amounts to a cut in wages, and would lead to an unsustainable situation for California workers.

In statements, Kaiser said it is offering reasonable wage increases through the new contracts and the change was needed to contain costs for customers.