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Workers With No Healthcare Protecting Kaiser Facilities, Security Contractor May Be Misleading California's Largest Healthcare Provider
Date:5/7/2008

Many Inter-Con Security Officers Report They Don't Have Healthcare, 41% Surveyed Say Can't Afford Family Health Insurance Plan

OAKLAND, Calif., May 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In the heart of California's leading healthcare provider, Kaiser Permanente, an increasing number of security officers report they either don't have health insurance or can't afford the plan for their families.

Kaiser contractor Inter-Con Security is supposed to provide all 1,500 officers who protect Kaiser patients and employees 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.

"I have three kids and I've been working for Inter-Con at Kaiser for almost two years. I usually work 40 hours a week, but Inter-Con has me classified as 'on-call,' so can't get health insurance for myself or my kids through my job," said Renee Meyers, a security officer in Santa Rosa.

As more and more workers report that Inter-Con is keeping workers on temporary or "on-call" status for months or years, it's still unclear whether Inter-Con is misleading Kaiser or if Kaiser is simply turning a blind eye to these tactics which short-change workers.

"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.

A recent survey conducted by SEIU of Inter-Con officers revealed that 41% of officers who responded said they cannot afford the family health insurance plan.

"I'm a single mother, and the insurance plan is too expensive for me to enroll my two kids. Plus, without paid sick days, I can't afford to get sick or use my own insurance. If I were to have to miss even one week I would be in danger of losing my apartment," said Dale Brown, a security officer in Sacramento.

More than 400 security officers who work at Kaiser are in the middle of an unfair labor practice strike against their employer, Inter-Con. Inter-Con has repeatedly violated workers' civil rights by threatening, harassing, intimidating and interrogating officers. The strike affects 23 Kaiser facilities statewide. Officers in Northern California started the strike on Tuesday morning, May 6. Officers in Southern California will join the strike on the last day, Thursday, May 8.

More information: HYPERLINK "http://www.standforsecurity.org/" http://www.StandforSecurity.org

With 1.9 million members, SEIU is the largest and fastest-growing union in North America and the largest property services union, representing more than 250,000 security officers, janitors, and other service workers. SEIU United Service Workers West represents 10,000 private security officers across California.


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SOURCE Service Employees International Union
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