More than 85,000 Kaiser Permanente workers – including just over 5,000 in the metro DC area -- are making preparations for a national strike this fall after contract talks between the workers and the giant, non-profit healthcare corporation broke off recently without an agreement. U.S. Sens. Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke recently tweeted support for Kaiser workers, who will begin voting in late July to authorize an unfair labor practice strike beginning in October. “Labor’s partnership with Kaiser Permanente built its unprecedented wealth,” said Linda Bridges, Secretary Treasurer at OPEIU Local 2, which represents the Kaiser workers in Maryland, Virginia, and DC. Kaiser reported $9 billion in profits since January 2017, sits on $31.5 billion in reserves, and paid 36 of its executives more than $1 million in 2017, including the CEO, who is paid at least $16 million a year. “There is no reason we should be paying more for healthcare or ushering in two-tier wages and eliminating defined benefit pensions at this unprecedented time of financial growth,” said Bridges, adding that “Our members have said enough is enough. The Coalition of Kaiser Union are committed, united and strong. We know we are standing on the contract our union sisters and brothers built for us, and we will fight for those who come after us.” In Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, and Colorado the Kaiser workers are represented by IFPTE, OPEIU, SEIU and UWH.