POSTED: 9:25 a.m. HST, Nov 21, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 10:23 a.m. HST, Nov 21, 2013
More than 300 Kaiser Permanente Hawaii union employees protested for improved work standards this morning at the Moanalua Medical Center.
The one-day work stoppage staged by Unite Here Local 5 is being used as leverage to demand that Kaiser issue fair workloads, provide adequate staffing as well as hire more staff to allow workers to take vacations, the union said in a press release.
Kaiser's employees on Maui also planned to protest in front of the Wailuku clinic.
"Kaiser Permanente is negotiating in good faith with Local 5 and we believe the best way to reach agreement on a new contract is to bargain at the table," said Kaiser spokeswoman Laura Lott, adding that the company has made five requests in the past 10 weeks to meet with Local 5 to no avail. The union has not responded with dates for future negotiations, she said.
"We respect and value our talented and caring employees. We remain optimistic that we can reach an agreement with Local 5 that is good for our employees while allowing us to be competitive in the market place."
The workers are asking patients to sign petitions during the protest or go online to unitehere5.org/patientpetition.
"Working with patients and keeping them healthy is my pride and joy. I want to provide nothing but the best care for my patients," Cindy Aban, a medical assistant who has worked at Kaiser Permanente Honolulu since 2005, said in a statement. "But Kaiser isn't hiring enough staff for us to be able to provide the very best, personalized care for our patients."