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Union Workers Reach Tentative Deal With Healthcare Provider After Largest Healthcare Strike in U.S.

Kaiser Permanente, the U.S. largest healthcare nonprofit organization, on Friday reached a tentative deal with the unions representing over 75,000 employees, after the largest healthcare workers’ strike on record in the country.

“The frontline healthcare workers of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions are excited to have reached a tentative agreement with Kaiser Permanente,” union officials said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Kaiser Permanente also posted a similar announcement on the platform. Both sides expressed their gratitude to the instrumental involvement of Acting U.S. Labor Secretary Julie Su.

More than 75,000 workers with the California-based healthcare provider went on strike for three days last week, demanding better pay and benefits. Union officials had warned that the three-day strike “will be the initial demonstration of our strength to Kaiser” and “another longer and stronger” strike would be staged next month if a new contract agreement couldn’t be reached by then.

Kaiser admitted staff shortages in a statement, saying it’s a problem that every healthcare provider in the nation has been facing. The organization’s data confirm a chronic trend of staff shortages in the U.S. healthcare industry, which was exacerbated by the pandemic.

This year saw a record of labor activities in the United States, as the number of workers involved in strikes has reached at least 411,000, the highest since 2019, recent data showed.

This year’s strikes also lasted longer than those in recent history, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Cornell University’s Labor Action Tracker.

Workers have walked out from various industries such as healthcare, entertainment, automobile, hotel and airlines.

Negotiations between Hollywood studios and the U.S. entertainment industry’s largest union representing 160,000 actors and performers were suspended Wednesday night after the two sides failed to reach a deal. Hollywood has shuddered to standstill since the start of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) strike in mid-July.

In another high-profile strike, more than 34,000 auto workers from the “Big Three” automakers — Ford, General Motors and Stellantis — are on strike, which has lasted nearly one month.