By DON McINTOSH
With members of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 555 on strike against Kaiser Permanente, the Oregon AFL-CIO and Northwest Oregon Labor Council have designated Kaiser as an unfair employer.
As explained on the Oregon AFL-CIO website, that means the state labor federation is strongly discouraging unions from entering into new health care agreements or renewing existing agreements with Kaiser Permanente until Local 555 members ratify a new contract. But it does not mean that patients are being asked to avoid getting health care from Kaiser.
Employers are added to the “unfair list” at the request of a union, so long as there’s no objection from any other union that also represents workers there. In this case, Local 555 made the request, and no other unions objected.
Kaiser will remain on the list until Local 555 ratifies a contract or a year passes.
Kaiser is the only employer on either organization’s “unfair list” at this time.