OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Thousands of Kaiser Permanente employees belonging to various unions are expected to gather Monday morning in Oakland for a Labor Day rally, and dozens are expected to “engage in civil disobedience” by blocking an intersection near a Kaiser hospital.

The 30-minute rally is set to begin at 10 a.m. Monday at Mosswood Park, 3612 Webster St., near the intersection of Broadway and West MacArthur Boulevard, just off Interstate Highway 580.
Ralliers then plan to march a short distance across Broadway to the Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center.

Union members say they may block the Broadway/West MacArthur intersection as an act of civil disobedience.

The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions comprises unions based in California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Their national contract with Kaiser Permanente expired Sept. 30, 2018, union officials said in a weekend statement.

Union leaders contend Kaiser has not negotiated in good faith. In a separate statement, Arlene Peasnall, Kaiser Permanent senior vice president of human resources, said that last fall, Kaiser negotiated a contract with the Alliance of Health Care Unions that established a strong partnership that improves Kaiser’s working environment and rewards employees with highly competitive wages, benefits and advancement programs.

Kaiser, Peasnall said, has contracts with 60 unions nationwide.

“We may have occasional disagreements, but we always work through these challenges to align on common goals that are in the best interest of our members, patients, employees and the communities we serve,” Peasnall said.

More than 37,000 Kaiser employees represented by Service Employees International Union – United Healthcare Workers West, including nurses, X-ray techs, phone operators and janitors, voted between July 31 and Aug. 11 to approve an October strike.

The strike could affect more than 80,000 Kaiser Permanente employees nationwide, 66,000 of whom are based in California. Similar Labor Day protests are scheduled for Los Angeles, Sacramento, Denver and Portland.

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