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Three-Day Strike by Hundreds of Security Officers at Kaiser Hospitals Succeeds in Raising Red Flag About Unfair Labor Practices
Date:5/8/2008

rotect the patients and staff at Kaiser Permanente -- the state's largest healthcare provider -- can't afford healthcare coverage," said Emily Heath, secretary-treasurer of SEIU Local 24/7, which represents 5,000 security officers in Northern California. "Even more troubling is the fact that Kaiser is content to sit on its hands while one of its contractors, Inter-Con, is using unfair labor practices to deny employees their basic rights."

Under its contract with Kaiser, Inter-Con is supposed to provide all 1,800 of its officers working at Kaiser nationally with individual healthcare after the first 90 days of employment. But an increasing number of workers report that Inter-Con is not following through with promises to workers, sometimes retroactively changing their start dates and altering their employment status to exclude them from coverage.

"It's unacceptable that a healthcare leader like Kaiser has this many workers under their roof that don't have health insurance. These officers put their lives on the line every day, and if they get hurt or get sick, they need healthcare. Their families need healthcare," said Faith Culbreath, president of SEIU SOULA which represents more than 5,000 security officers in Southern California.

Security officers are the only employees at Kaiser that are not represented by a union.

"We wanted a union for better pay and benefits. But instead we've got Inter-Con violating our civil rights. We go to work every day to protect these patients and employees, but we have no protections ourselves," said LaRonda Lynch, a security officer at Kaiser Sunset Medical Center in Los Angeles.

For more information about the continuing struggle by security officers to form a union, visit http://www.standforsecurity.org.

With 1.9 million members, SEIU is the largest and fastest-growing union in North America and the largest property service
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SOURCE Service Employees International Union
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