Kaiser security guards begin strike

April 4, 2008 3:06:06 PM PDT
Security guards started a 24-hour strike this morning in front of two Bay Area Kaiser Permanente facilities to urge their employer to allow them to form a union.

The strikes at the Kaiser facilities in Hayward, Fremont and Sacramento started as early as 6 a.m. The approximate 100 people who make about $10 an hour are protesting their contracting company, Inter-Con Security Inc., for better wages, paid sick days and better health coverage or the ability to form a union, a spokeswoman from Service Employees International Union, who represents the workers, said.

Inter-Con declined to comment.

Kaiser spokeswoman Debora Lambert said Inter-Con hired replacement workers for the strike and patient care should not be affected.

"They're using us as a backdrop," Lambert said. "Inter-Con is a third party contractor."

Union spokeswoman Elizabeth Buchanan said sometimes Inter-Con would threaten or follow employees to scare them out of wanting to form a union. She said the intention of the strike is to shed light on the conduct of the company.

"We're doing this to tell Inter-Con ... to stop breaking the law," Buchanan said.

The guards will resume work Saturday at 6 a.m., she said.