Kaiser Permanente, unions reach labor deal to avert strike

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An alliance of unions representing 50,000 Kaiser Permanente workers in California, Oregon and six other states has called off a strike notice after reaching a tentative labor deal with the health care network. Both sides announced the agreement on Saturday, staving off a potentially crippling strike. Some 32,000 Kaiser employees, most of them in Southern California, were prepared to walk off the job Monday to protest understaffing and wage cuts for new hires. Additional members of the alliance had authorized a one-day “sympathy strike” on Nov. 18. Agreement on the four-year contract includes annual wage increases and new staffing language to continue to protect employees.