Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

"Outstanding…Moore Triumphs! Publishers Weekly

Mike & Friends Blog

David Mallon

David Mallon has advanced degrees in clinical social work and psychology. He has worked as a psychiatric social worker at Kaiser for over 12 years.

May 18th, 2011 10:05 AM

May 18th - It's Started

Well, It's started! Around 5:30a the staff and members of NUHW started arriving in front of what Kaiser likes to call its "flagship" hospital, Kaiser Sunset or LAMC, Los Angeles Medical Center.

All in front of the hospital on the sidewalk hundreds and hundreds of picket signs were lined up in bundles. These signs stand ready for the great surge of nurses and social workers and psychologists and psych nurses and therapists who would soon arrive to pick them up and take them in long sweeping lines to protest Kaiser weird priorities.

What is the reason for this strike? The nurses at LAMC know how to provide patient care. They know how many patients a nurse can safely care for at one time. And these nurses know you've got to have the right "know-how" to do the job right. Kaiser says it has the right ratio but it speaks with forked tongue: At times, half of the nurses are brought in from outside agencies and they couldn't tell you where a band-aid is located, let alone how to find the emergency room! These nurses aren't trained to work at Kaiser. They are blind to the hospital system and rely on the regular staff nurses to guide them, like seeing eye dogs.

This would seem a weird way to do the business of health care except that by not hiring adequate numbers of regular staff nurses it contributes to Kaiser's huge profits of over 10, 000, 000 dollars a day. Oh, I see, its about money!!! Silly me!

Well, at 6a the nurse strikers have arrived. They pour out of the hospital and have picked up the picket signs which say things like "Dignity and Respect Now!" and "Be Fair to Those Who Care" and Patient Care before Profits" and "Patient Care: It's our Bottom Line." Then there are some slogans which I cannot repeat on a nice blog site like this!

There are bull horns with men and women blaring "Kaiser, Kaiser can't you see? THIS IS A HEALTH CARE EMERGENCY!" and "We are here to Fight, Fight, Fight UNTIL KAISER TREATS US RIGHT!"

Already on the periphery of the long lines the men in suits watch. These are the Kaiser watchers, the management of Kaiser. They've got a worried look on their faces like they've seen this all before. They know this nearly crippled the organization in the 1980's and because Kaiser was recently able to get into bed with SEIU they thought they'd never have to face picket signs and strikes again. Gee, guess they were wrong. Bad to be wrong when you are a manager. Things like bonuses and obscenely high salaries depend on being right and avoiding messes like strikes. Oh, well, live and learn.

I hear tambourines and drums. Lots of chanting. There is anger in these voices. It is the sound of the voices of highly skilled professional people, dedicated health care providers, who have been squeezed by corporate greed to the breaking point. They say they have had enough! They have seen too many of their patients receive sub-standard care while corporate executives rake in the dough. They cannot understand when Kaiser makes nearly a billion in profits in the first quarter of 2011 that those same highly paid executives want to cut these providers own health care benefits! Astonishing, isn't it?

Oh, oh! One of my colleagues is holding an extra picket sign and alternately pointing at me and at the sign. I think that they want me to come join them in the picket line. Well, I guess I'd better do that or I'll get a reputation as a "slacker!" So I'll send another post later in the morning when there is a lull in the action. By then I will have heard from a few of the therapists, dietitians, and other health care pros about why they are striking. More to come!

In Solidarity,


Creative Commons License This content is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

You must log in to comment.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Log in | Register

If you have a moment today, I hope you can read the obituary for my father Francis (Frank) Moore, who died this past Saturday at the age of 92: Francis...

Apr 22nd
6:33 PM
Read More

My father, Francis (Frank) Moore, passed away this morning a few months shy if his 93rd birthday. He was a great dad I am blessed to have had him in my life. I...

Apr 20th
2:58 AM
Read More

Time to put the cuffs on Chris Christie -- not for the bridge scandal, but for this: Chris Christie's $300m pension proposal broke state anti-corruption...

Apr 18th
7:31 PM
Read More

George W. Bush Debuts New Paintings Of Dogs, Friends, Ghost Of Iraqi Child That Follows Him... President Bush has a new hobby -- painting! --...

Apr 17th
7:28 PM
Read More

Big new story from David Sirota and Pando on top Christie adviser and appearance of corruption at New Jersey's pension fund: REVEALED: Gov....

Apr 17th
12:41 PM
Read More

FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States WASHINGTON—The FBI announced today that it has uncovered a...

Apr 15th
3:28 PM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel's top donor bought stock in Marriott just before it was awarded huge contract As schools are closed and pensions cut,...

Apr 9th
2:00 PM
Read More

I'll be at First Time Fest today in New York City at the screening of my first film, Roger & Me. Loews Village 7 at 12:30 pm. Come see it on the big...

Apr 5th
9:48 AM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel cuts public pensions, diverts money to benefit campaign donors If you've read the financial news out of Chicago the last...

Apr 4th
2:19 PM
Read More

Please take a moment today to think of Casey Austin Sheehan, son of Cindy and Patrick, who was murdered by U.S. foreign policy in Sadr City, Baghdad ten years...

Apr 4th
2:00 PM
Read More

ICYMI - I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence...

Apr 3rd
7:38 PM
Read More

I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention...

Apr 2nd
8:27 PM
Read More

I am opposed to the death penalty, but to every rule there is usually an exception, and in this case I hope the criminals at General Motors will be arrested...

Apr 1st
3:55 PM
Read More

How Long Some in the US Will Survive Under New Health Law Donna Smith Those who must access care to live and can afford it are not...

Mar 31st
10:13 PM
Read More

Last night, The Good Wife on the East Coast started 40 minutes late due to the overrun of the NCAA basketball game. If you had your DVR set for the show, you...

Mar 24th
5:41 PM
Read More

Watching films today, looking for the ones I'm going to pick for my film festival this summer. I (and a whole bunch of others!) have this thing we put on...

Mar 23rd
4:48 PM
Read More

When the U.S. Health Care System Keeps Killing, Who Cares Enough to Fight? Donna Smith We have largely forgotten that people are at...

Mar 21st
5:56 PM
Read More

Tell the White House not to give up on Dr. Vivek Murthy's nomination as Surgeon General despite the ferocious opposition from the NRA: Don't give...

Mar 21st
5:38 PM
Read More

This criminal would never see a jail cell, nor would his cronies. In fact, they'd later be rewarded with re-election: Presidential Address on War with...

Mar 19th
9:40 PM
Read More

The crime of the century -- our invasion & slaughter in Iraq -- started 11 years ago tonite in this 7pm (ET) hour, March 19th, 2003: CNN Coverage of...

Mar 19th
9:08 PM
Read More

Washington’s Back-to-the-Future Military Policies in Africa Nick Turse Nick Turse is an award-winning journalist, historian,...

Mar 17th
4:59 PM
Read More

"I think democracy is the most revolutionary thing in the world." -- Tony Benn, 1925-2014 Tony Benn in 'Sicko'

Mar 14th
10:07 AM
Read More

RIP Tony Benn, one of the UK's greatest leaders: Tony Benn, veteran Labour politician, dies aged 88 Former cabinet minister died at...

Mar 14th
9:53 AM
Read More

Please read this important story from K. Ford K.: Am I the Face of the New American Middle Class? I began to feel I had slipped so low...

Mar 13th
2:24 PM
Read More

Yesterday Dianne Feinstein revealed that the CIA has been spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee. This is all about the report the committee has produced...

Mar 12th
6:48 PM
Read More

Health Care for All Colorado has brought Mercy Killers, a show written and performed by Michael Milligan about our murderous for-profit healthcare system, to...

Mar 10th
1:08 PM
Read More

Health Care Dramas that Sting and Why We Have to Watch Donna Smith The realities Milligan has written into the show cut deep into...

Mar 10th
1:02 PM
Read More

Did you know the Lehrer Newshour on PBS has been produced for 20 years by a company owned by conservative cable billionaire John Malone? Me neither. After...

Mar 7th
8:39 PM
Read More

Mr. Obama, if int’l law is so damn crucial . . . | The Russian intervention deserves criticism. But let’s be clear. The...

Mar 6th
1:21 PM
Read More

Subscribe to Mike's Blog RSS

Click here to suggest an article

Mike's Blog

See More Blogs

Vew the archives

View older articles