October 4, 2023

The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns stands with the more than 75,000 Kaiser healthcare workers taking part in the largest healthcare strikes in US history. 

We support their demands for addressing the ongoing staffing crisis, respectacle wage increases to meet the rising cost of living, and plans to outsource cheap labor. These demands resonate deeply with the broader healthcare workforce. Low-wage workers have been hit hardest by these systemic issues, which affect healthcare workers in hospitals, healthcare facilities, and other health-related workplaces across the nation, not just one institution.

Healthy patients necessitate healthy workers, and this fight is a necessary contribution towards struggling for a healthy society. Despite Kaiser being one of the nation’s leading not-for-profit healthcare networks, it has failed to address a staffing crisis that has left its workers feeling overworked and underpaid while compromising patient care. The staffing shortages are a consequence of the burnout from the COVID-19 pandemic, another glaring example of how companies failed to support their workers and instead prioritized profit. 

In San Francisco, strike captains recalled that employees who worked over 40 years at Kaiser’s pharmacy warehouse were terminated because of the outsourcing. Senator Scott Weiner, who represents District 11 in the California State Senate, spoke in solidarity of the issue: “You should have the choice to work overtime, not because there is inadequate staffing.” 

Kaiser continues to not bargain in good faith with frontline healthcare workers and unions because these negotiations threaten their profits while its clear interests are reflected in its $1M donation to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit, a convening of multinational CEO’s and heads of states, which will be held in San Francisco this November. 

In the last two years, we have seen bolder and bigger action taken by labor unions across the country. Workers have been able to show their collective power by going on strike and making their demands for health, rights, and livelihood to be heard.

Filipino overseas workers have historically held a major significance in the U.S. and across the globe as they’re known as nurses and health workers. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they were hailed as heroes, but their health and wellbeing was overlooked.

This Filipino American History Month, we uplift the fighting spirit of our kababayan and all workers as they take collective action and advocate for accountability.