USW Local 7600 members march in Pasadena for wage justice

Members of USW Local 7600 marched and rallied in Pasadena on Sat., Oct. 30, for wage justice as they continue to fight for a fair contract with health care giant Kaiser Permanente. 

They joined thousands of other workers from the Alliance of Health Care Unions (AHCU), including members of UNAC/UHCP and UFCW. The Alliance consists of 21 local unions that represent over 50,000 members across hundreds of job classifications in nearly every geographic area where Kaiser Permanente has a presence.

“What Kaiser is proposing is an insult to each and every one of you and to this profession,” said AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond, who also oversees the USW’s health care sector bargaining. “This way of thinking not only hurts workers; it hurts the patients you serve.”

USW Local 7600 represents more than 7,400 workers across 72 Kaiser Permanente locations in Southern California. They work in a wide range of job classes, including pharmacists, licensed vocational nurses, dietary and environmental service workers, medical assistants, customer service representatives, phlebotomists, and more.

Kaiser Permanente management has persistently tried to force workers to accept provisions like a two-tier wage scale that will make it harder to recruit and retain qualified staff. It also refuses to address the vast wage disparities between its Inland Empire workforce and other area workers doing the same jobs.

“In the Inland Empire, upwards of 70 percent of our USW members are people of color,” said USW Local 7600 Vice President Norberto Gomez. “Wage justice is racial justice.”

The group began their march at Pasadena Memorial Park and ended at City Hall where they were joined by Mayor Victor M. Gordo. Along with Redmond and Gomez, speakers at the energetic rally included AFSCME President Lee Saunders.

Local 7600 members recently voted—by an overwhelming majority—to grant the union’s bargaining committee the authority to call a strike. As required, the employer would get a 10-day notice before workers take any further action. 

Click here to watch a video from the Pasadena rally and march.

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-2446

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor R.J. Hufnagel

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222