The Los Angeles City Council has unanimously passed a resolution urging Kaiser Permanente not to cut 306 jobs in Hollywood and North Hollywood.
Though the hospital system has not officially announced any layoffs, the SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West alleged that Kaiser is planning to relocate 272 positions at a Hollywood call center to other areas of the state and to cut 34 courier jobs at a laboratory in North Hollywood. Kaiser denied that claim in a statement to the Business Journal.
The resolution – which passed 12-0 on Tuesday during the council’s meeting – asserts that layoffs alleged by the union would negatively affect both health care delivery in the region and the greater local economy, as the move would deprive local workers of wages and benefits. It was originally put forth in early March by Councilman Bob Blumenfield and seconded by Councilman Paul Krekorian, both of whom represent communities in the San Fernando Valley.
“As a major employer in the city of Los Angeles, including the communities of Woodland Hills, Hollywood, and North Hollywood, Kaiser Permanente should be committed to growing and retaining jobs,” the resolution stated.
In the company's statement, Kaiser Vice President of Communications John Nelson called the union's allegation "simply untrue."
"To be clear, the resolution calls for us to work in good faith with (the union) and to grow and retain jobs, which is exactly what we're doing," Nelson said. The health care system has more than 2,400 open positions in the greater L.A. area alone, he added.
SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West represents more than 55,000 Kaiser employees in the state, according to the union. Kaiser is headquartered in Oakland and has 15 health care centers in Southern California, including locations in Panorama City, Mission Hills and Woodland Hills.
The Woodland Hills hospital was the site of a protest led by the union earlier this year in an effort to raise awareness about job cuts at Kaiser facilities. The hospital’s contract with the union expires Sept. 30.
This story has been updated to reflect a statement from Kaiser Permanente.