News & Views

Milestones in Kaiser Permanente’s Labor History

January 23, 2018

  REGIONS: National 



1941 — At Henry J. Kaiser’s request, Sidney Garfield, MD, organizes prepaid health care for the largely unionized workforce at Kaiser-managed shipyards.

1945 — Kaiser Permanente health plan founded with support from the California Congress of Industrial Organizations and the American Federation of Labor’s Alameda County Central Labor Council.

1946 — Dr. Garfield signs the first union contract with Kaiser Permanente nurses, represented by the CIO-affiliated Nurses Guild.

1950 — Kaiser Permanente expands to Southern California when the International Longshore and Warehouse Union requests that the organization cover Los Angeles harbor workers.

1965 — Henry J. Kaiser receives the Murray-Green Award from the AFL-CIO, the first business leader recognized by the labor federation.

1969 — Kaiser Permanente expands east to Colorado with help from union leaders who want quality, affordable health care for union workers.

1995 — The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions is formed by 27 local unions to better coordinate bargaining with Kaiser Permanente.

1997 — Kaiser Permanente’s Labor Management Partnership is established.

2000 — Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions reach a national labor agreement and agree to a five-year contract.

2005 — The new National Agreement between Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions includes, for the first time, joint marketing of Kaiser Permanente.

2010 — The 2010 National Agreement sets consistent, uniform criteria for assessing the performance of unit-based teams.

2012 — The 2012 National Agreement creates our Total Health Incentive Plan that builds on Kaiser Permanente’s strategy of supporting wellness at work.

2013 — Coalition unions contribute to the signing up of tens of thousands of new Kaiser Permanente members through the Affordable Care Act.

2015 — The 2015 National Agreement includes a jointly developed flu vaccination policy for health care workers who deal directly with patients.

2017 — Kaiser Permanente’s Labor Management Partnership reaches 150,000 members and celebrates its 20th anniversary.

For more information:
Kaiser Permanente’s Labor Management Partnership
A History of Total Health,” Kaiser Permanente’s history blog