'Tis the season for labor strikes! Last week, about 100 Hyatt workers decried their “unfair and abusive” employer along Sunset Boulevard, and this week, a citywide grocery-worker strike was narrowly averted.

Today, 2,500 employees from Kaiser Permanente join the fun across California from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., with up to 20,000 more expected to walk out tomorrow and the next day. Here in L.A., the spot to watch about 200 unionized nurses pump their signs and bark their slogans is the hectic corner of Sunset and Vermont, outside the hospital empire's biggest SoCal branch. So, uh: What do they want?

National Union of Healthcare and California Nurses Association officials “contend that Kaiser, a nonprofit entity, is undermining the ability of nurses to afford their own health care and reducing staffing while taking in billions of dollars in revenue over the last two and a half years,” according to City News Service.

Seems like it would be simple enough for a health-care franchise to just treat nurses and their families at in-company facilities, free of cost. You know, like when you work at Abercrombie & Fitch, and you get to wear all Abercrombie & Fitch clothes, for cheap! (Only way more useful, and not as Jersey Shorish.)

But no, of course, everything has to be all twisted and top-heavy.

Credit: @alexiszotos via Twitter

Credit: @alexiszotos via Twitter

As for all you selfish hospitalgoers out there, strolling past the picket line: Kaiser spokeswoman Socorro Serrano reassures you that there will be “minimal impact, if any impact, on our scheduling.” This is because, in anticipation of the strike, Kaiser officials made a “contingency plan.”

Aka, they “brought in other staffing to compensate for the nurses that were going to be out.” Ouch. Sort of defeats the purpose, doesn't it?

Serrano adds sweetly: “As soon as they're done with their activity, we're going to welcome them back into their positions.”


LA Weekly