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Kaiser Permanente workers in Calif. go on strike

Kaiser Permanente health care workers in California go on strike over proposed benefits cuts By The Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) ' Workers at Kaiser Permanente facilities throughout California have gone on strike over contract disputes involving Kaiser's mental health and optical employees.

The National Union of Healthcare Workers says its 4,000 Kaiser employees are staging a 24-hour strike over proposed cuts to health care and retirement benefits.

It's their fourth walkout since contract negotiations started in 2010.

Union leaders say as many as 17,000 Kaiser nurses from the California Nurses Association could join the action in solidarity.

The union represents mental health and optical employees at Kaiser.

Kaiser officials say the union has failed to respond to their proposals on wages and benefits.

All Kaiser hospitals and medical offices are expected to remain open during the strike, with Kaiser relying on replacement workers and nurse managers for additional staffing.

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