On the island of Oahu, Kaiser workers will be picketing for six days at Kaiser’s facilities in Moanalua, Honolulu, and Waipio. Picket lines will also be organized on the island of Maui at Maui Lani and Wailuku, and on Big Island at Hilo and Kona.
Workers on strike are not discouraging patients from entering the facilities. In fact, they encourage patients to come the facilities for any services they may need, especially in the case of an emergency. Workers will be passing out leaflets to patients and community members to inform them about the decisions Kaiser has made that have negatively affected patient care, including closing Honolulu urgent care and laying off staff. Four one-day work stoppages have been organized since 2013
“When I first started working at Kaiser, we were trained to care for our patients like family. But with all of the cuts to staff, Kaiser is making it harder to provide that kind of care to our patients,” says Shanelle Simpliciano, a certified nurse’s aid at Kaiser Permanente Moanalua.
“Kaiser has changed for the worse since I started working here 17 years ago,” says Momi Hai, a lead front desk employee at Kaiser Permanente Maui Lani. “We’ve struggled with our jobs getting subcontracted, or our jobs getting cut completely. It has a real impact on workers and patients. Meanwhile, Kaiser makes $11 million a day. Kaiser is thriving, but what about us?”
Local 5 represents around 1900 Kaiser Permanente workers across Hawai’i. The strike will end on Saturday, February 7 at midnight local time.