Where We Stand – Local 5 Financial Secretary-Treasurer Eric Gill Letter to Kaiser Members
For over a year, Local 5 and our union allies have been trying to talk Kaiser out of attacking Kaiser workers. We conducted dozens of meetings and presented volumes of research and information proving that Kaiser is just plain wrong that workers are overpaid. We’ve used all the bargaining and partnership tactics available.
Nothing has moved Kaiser off its misguided course. Kaiser has refused to engage in meaningful talks at both the local and national levels. They’ve wasted all the bargaining time they scheduled with us. Bargaining broke down on the day both sides had planned to reach a settlement, and Kaiser still has not addressed any of the union proposals for the new contract. They have not even offered a complete set of proposals of their own. Kaiser can’t even reach an agreement with us on even a simple matter like a temporary contract extension.
It is obvious that there are strong voices in Kaiser management that do not want to settle a fair contract with Local 5 and our allied unions. Kaiser is forcing a strike. They think they can win and that we will be forced to take a lousy contract that makes our problems on the job much worse. They are wrong.
Union members will beat Kaiser and get a good contract. Our patients and the rest of the public appreciate the hard work and sacrifice that health care heroes have shown during this pandemic. We have a large and powerful alliance of unions—some of America’s largest—working together to win; and our unions are also some of Kaiser’s biggest and most important customers.
Union popularity in America is at an all-time high. A strike against Kaiser this fall will be the biggest strike American workers have conducted in years.
We are not afraid to stand up to the company. We have the allies we need and are recruiting more. Our patients and our communities will support us. We know how to campaign, and we know how to strike. We know how to stay strong until we win.
We will win this fight.