SOUTHLAND – (INT) - A union representing nearly 21,000 registered nurses, pharmacists, midwives, physical therapists, and other health care professionals at Kaiser Permanente’s Southern California hospitals and clinics have announced a 96% yes vote to authorize a strike.

A strike would affect Kaiser hospitals and medical centers in Anaheim, Bakersfield, Baldwin Park, Downey, Fontana, Irvine, Los Angeles, Ontario Vineyard, Panorama City, Riverside, San Diego, West Los Angeles, and Woodland Hills.

The United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals claims Kaiser Permanent is sitting on $44.5 billion in reserves, wants to slash wages for new nurses and health care workers and depress wages for current workers. The union says Kaiser Permanente has turned a $2.7 billion profit during the pandemic.