Frequently Asked Questions About Strikes

This page covers answers to questions about strikes, picket lines and certain job-related issues. Please scroll through the page to see all of the sections.


Where do I go to picket?

You should go to your work site unless you work from home or you were told a different location.

I work from home. Where do I go?

You may have gotten a text message from the union about your picket line assignment. If you don’t have that information, go to the closest medical center. 

What time do I show up to picket? 

You should show up at the start time of your typical work shift. We want everyone to show up in force for the first 3 days so come join us even if you don’t typically work. If you are on a rotating shift or you are on call, you should show up at a time based on the month of your birthday:

07:00 a.m. = January, February, March, April
11:00 a.m. =  May, June, July, August
03:00 p.m. = September, October, November, December

For facilities that are 24 hours (Fontana and Ontario Medical Centers)  you may also chose a 7 p.m., 11 p.m. or 3 a.m. shift.

Please note that some picket lines are running 24 hours; some are running only during operating hours of that facility.

What if the clinic where I work is closed?

We have reassigned members to the closest picket location if their worksite is closed. Please click here for picket locations.

Anything I need to know about going to the picket line?

Picket lines are how we show the community and KP our solidarity and strength. We want to ensure our pickets are organized, disciplined and family-friendly.

Our Picket Captains are responsible for ensuring the safety of our members, supporters and patients, making sure our lines don’t interrupt patient care or medical transport. They are available to help answer questions, handle incidents and track picketing activity.

Can kids and family members join us on the picket line?

Absolutely. We need to make sure our picket lines are a fun and safe place to be. Our Community Outreach and Membership Engagement Committee is planning family days on the picket line. Stay tuned!

I heard that we will need to picket 24/7.

Our picket lines will be set up at strategic locations. We will picket during the operating hours of the facility - that could mean 24/7 or limited hours of the day. As an individual, your picket shift will be a block of a few hours each day you are picketing. 

On Nov. 15, please join a picket line at the major medical centers unless you are notified about a specific location and time.

Can I park at KP parking lot?

No, you cannot park at KP’s parking lot during the strike when you are picketing. Picket captains are trying to identify parking available. More info to come.

What will be provided on the picket line?

Volunteers are working on securing portable toilets for pickets lines and will work on providing water and snacks.

Can I still show up to picket if on Paid Family Leave?

We do not want you to participate in anything that may compromise your leave. You can assist in other ways by filling out our strike duty survey


What if I’m on shift at 7 a.m. on Nov. 15?

You should clock in at your assigned start time. At 7 a.m., you should clock out and walk out with your union family. Join the picket line at your facility or join the closest picket line. Make sure you follow any normal clocking out procedures. 

Do I clock out on Nov. 15? Or just walk out?

You should follow all normal procedures as if it is the end of your day. If you typically report out you should plan to report out as you normally do. 

Do I go in if my shift starts at 6:30 a.m.?

You should arrive at your shift as normal and clock out at 7 a.m. 

Do I need to give my supervisor a notice?

No, the Union has given KP a proper notice to strike. You will not be charged with patient abandonment or be written up for walking out or not showing up on Nov. 15 when the strike begins.

Do I need to continue to do my weekly COVID tests while I am on strike?

We recommend employees to continue their weekly testing while on strike. It is impossible to know how long the strike will last, or when it will end, and we do not want there to be any delay in employees' ability to return to work.  The strike can end suddenly and we want to ensure that no employee is required to stay out of the facilities any longer than necessary.

Can I show up prior to 7am?

Legally the picket starts at 7am and we will set up at this time. Do not plan to picket prior to then.


When does the strike start?

7 a.m. on Mon., Nov. 15.

How long will the strike last?

We don’t know. We will strike as long as necessary to win the contract we deserve.

Who’s going on strike?

This strike will involve 32,000 workers in Southern California and the Northeast within our Alliance of Health Care Unions, including union members of USW Local 7600, UNAC/UHCP and OFNHP.

Am I obligated to strike?

This strike involves every single member in USW Local 7600. Reporting to work whether in person or at home during a strike is crossing a picket line to scab - whether there is a picket line at your facility or not. It will take ALL of us sticking together to make the strike successful.

Can I strike and then go back to work? Can I strike off and on?

You will hear from our union when the strike begins and when you will return to work at the end of a strike. Reporting to work whether in person or at home during a strike is crossing a picket line to scab - whether there is a picket line at your facility or not.

Can I be fired for participating in the strike? 

No. Your right to strike is protected by law, so it would be illegal for KP to fire you for simply participating in the strike. You can, however, be disciplined or discharged for engaging in misconduct on the picket line including violence, threats of violence or property destruction. Misconduct on the picket line can also lead to an injunction against the union limiting our right to picket. We will establish picket line rules to protect our rights and our jobs.

Will my manager say that I abandon my job by striking?

No, striking is a legally protected activity. Your manager has the right to ask whether you are going on strike for scheduling purposes. You do not have to respond. You can say I’m standing with my union family. We will work out details about what you should do if you are on shift at 7 a.m. on Nov. 15.

Is this going to be an Unfair Labor Practice strike?

The USW has filed Unfair Labor Practice charges with the labor relations board about KP’s actions. We believe we have a strong case. More details will be provided.  

I won’t strike during the holiday season.

We are all in this together. It will take the solidarity and commitment of all 32,000 Alliance union members to win the contract we deserve. The USW has a history of taking on powerful employers and winning labor disputes. Our Union has the resources and experience; what we need is the involvement and solidarity from everyone to get a contract agreement.  

We should have struck already!

We hear you. When negotiations get tough our goal is to reach an agreement without a strike. As long as the Bargaining Committee sees movement at the table, they continue to negotiate. Our Committee along with the Alliance gave the strike notice at a timing when we can put the most pressure on KP.

Between now and Nov. 15, can KP still change their mind?

Our Bargaining Committee will continue to negotiate. The best way to get KP to change their mind is for ALL of our members to show KP that we are willing and ready to strike.

Can I get a copy of our contract?

You can access our contract at

Info about the USW Strike and Defense Fund.

The USW Strike and Defense Fund is available to help members and their families withstand a labor dispute. Through the Strike and Defense Fund, our union provides critical resources to members, from support paying bills and buying groceries to ensuring every member and their dependents have access to medical insurance.

The USW has one of the largest and most successful strike funds in the nation. The strength of our fund and proven track record of winning major disputes gives us the power to push for what we deserve at the bargaining table.

We will have access to the Strike and Defense Fund in the fourth week of the strike and you will be able to apply for the assistance then. More info to come. 


Can I work another job?

Yes, working a temporary job not at KP is a great way to support the strike. Even if you do not have the capacity to picket as much as others would, you are still on strike with your union family for a better future!

I have surgery/medical needs.

Our union Assistance Committee will help you pick the best option for your medical needs; this is why we are asking people to fill out the strike duty survey. Your current health insurance will remain in effect through the end of November. If your insurance coverage terminates during a strike, you will have options to ensure basic healthcare coverage for you and your families and the Assistance Committee can work with you to explore options to cover COBRA cost when necessary. 

Should I go to my doctor appointment at KP?

You should still access your medical care.

KP is hiring/I’m training registry.

KP has been preparing. If you are asked to train people, please follow the order and do not be insubordinate.

I have vacation/life balance day scheduled on or soon after Nov 15. What should I do if it is canceled or not paid while I am on strike?

Please report any canceled or unpaid time off requests that occur leading up to or while we are on strike. This may be a violation of your rights as union members. 

Do we get unemployment?

In California strikers are not eligible to receive unemployment. However, the Local's Assistance Committee is organizing available resources such as the USW Strike and Defense Fund, and is also researching additional resources.

How will the strike affect Ben Hudnall benefits? Will tuition and school hours be paid?

Our understanding is that the Ben Hudnall benefits will continue, but we are verifying that information. The one thing employees won’t have access to is the hours paid for school time.  

What do I tell my patients?

You can say things like: we are going on strike to protect our patients; we are going on strike for safe staffing.  

I’m on sick leave, workmans comp or FMLC. 

Those who are already on sick leave should continue to receive all of their benefits for as long as they are eligible for the leave. While on sick leave, you should NOT report to your picket line duties. You should still fill out the strike duty survey to see if there are alternative ways to help out!

I’m on probation. Can the company fire probationary employees for honoring the picket line?

Probationary employees are only probationary under the contract, and have the same legal rights as every other employee. The law does not recognize any difference between employees – you are either an employee or you are not. It would be unlawful for KP to fire you in retaliation for simply participating in the strike or honoring the picket line.

Will the 7600 local union officers get paid during the strike?

No. 7600 Local Union Officers and Grievance Reps will not receive union pay during the strike.  

Previously Distributed Information

(Prior to Nov. 4 10-day strike notice)

PDF icon Downloadable flyer in ENGLISH | PDF icon Folleto descargable en ESPAÑOL.

What is a strike exactly?

A strike is an option of last resort during bargaining. In a strike, union workers, together, refuse to go to work. This shifts the balance of power and would show the employer how essential we are.

When would a strike occur?

We could begin a strike any time after our national and local contracts expire on September 30.

How much notice do we have to give to the employer?

Ten days.

If we went on strike, who would take care of our patients?

If we are forced to strike, the purpose would be to bring KP to the table for good faith negotiations to reasonably address issues such as future staffing and patient care. We would provide KP with the required 10-day advance notice before initiating any strike. The advance notice is unique to health care, and is required to allow employers preparation time to address patient care issues that would otherwise be of concern absent the 10-day notice. Lawfully exercising our right to strike does not constitute patient abandonment.

How is a strike determined?

Only a vote of the USW membership would determine whether or not we go on strike.

How could management force us to strike now in the middle of the pandemic?

After years of fighting our demands for better staffing, Kaiser leadership has chosen this moment to push for unprecedented concessions while engaging in what we believe to be bad faith bargaining and other unlawful conduct. Management apparently believes they can take advantage of a public health crisis to ignore our demands for safe staffing, and to lower the standard of living for current union members and our future co-workers. There are backlogs in care, and potentially a new surge. Other hospital and clinic systems are responding to labor shortages and employee burnout by increasing pay and settling contracts. By blatantly ignoring the reality of an ongoing COVID crisis and a staffing shortage, Kaiser Permanente has displayed no consideration for the physical and mental health of the workers who have gone through so much, or for the patients we care for. It’s time Kaiser Permanente took seriously what we as workers have faced and will continue to face in the pandemic.

Are there funds available for members during a strike?

Yes, our union has a strike and defense fund that helps meet the essential needs of members during a strike, but is not intended to be an income replacement. Your local union will establish a strike assistance committee to help identify community resources and distribute donations and other monies from the strike and defense fund.

If KP cuts off health insurance during a strike, what options do I have?

We hope that KP would not sever our members’ health insurance if we decide to go on strike, but if they do, every member and our families can maintain uninterrupted care with the same benefits and costs by paying for COBRA. In addition, the USW has options for health care during a strike. More information to come.

Will it just be USW members on strike?

We are part of 52,000 members of the Alliance of Health Care Unions that covers Kaiser workers in 8 states, many of which may also go on strike at the same time as us. If a strike should become necessary, the Alliance’s goal is for every member in every eligible union to strike together. It will be a powerful show of force across the entire Kaiser system.

What can we do to encourage the public to support us?

Health care workers are the most popular professions in the country right now, and union actions by health care workers get huge amounts of support. They know that we saved lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, and they will support us. Other unions and community groups have already been sending letters of support to Kaiser leadership. Community members are also signing our petition in support.

Will I get fired or disciplined for striking?

Absolutely not! It is illegal to discipline a worker in any way for participating in this strike or any other labor action. We are protected and stronger together.

How long could this strike last?

It’s impossible to say. Ultimately, the length of a strike is a strategic decision.

What kind of issues could make a strike an option?

Striking would be an option if what KP is offering is not acceptable to most of our members. For instance, we know that our top priority is safe staffing, and if they go after wages and benefits then they will only make this staffing crisis even worse. A 2-tier pay system (paying new employees on a lower wage scale than others doing the same work) or falling real wages could jeopardize patient safety and make us want to strike. A strike would also be an option if KP continues to engage in unfair labor practices, including bargaining in bad faith and violating our members’ rights.

What would be required of me during a strike?

A strike primarily means not crossing the picket line by not going to work! In addition, members should plan on walking the picket line daily, attending rallies, taking digital action, etc. Being on strike is not a vacation from work. It means working together to secure a contract that protects our patients and our livelihoods.