News & Commentary — Nov 11, 2019
Mental health care workers at Kaiser Permanente decided to postpone their planned strike when the company’s CEO Bernard Tyson passed away yesterday. Tyson was 60 years old and passed in his sleep. The strike was planned in response to the poorly resourced and overburdened mental health care division. Starting today, workers would have shut down mental health services at 100 Kaiser clinics in California for five days. The National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUWH) , the union representing Kaiser’s employees, released a statement explaining the decision: “Our members dedicate their lives helping people through tragedy and trauma, and they understand that a strike would not be appropriate during this period of mourning and reflection.” NUWH has not released a new date for the start of the strike.
Workers for Virginia’s largest transit service, the Fairfax Connector, voted to begin striking as early as today. As employees of Transdev, a contractor of DC’s transit agency, they earn $12 less per hour than their counterparts who do the same work yet are employed directly by the city without the additional layer of a contractor. In addition to higher wages, Fairfax Connector workers are also demanding safer working conditions after a chemical leak on a bus left a driver ill. Transdev responded by terminated the workers’ health insurance. The strike, when it begins, will impact 30,000 commuters.
A Los Angeles Times article discusses the record high demand for contracted seasonal farm workers in California and recent legal cases that aim to protect these H-2A visa-holders from unfair labor practices.