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Our Commitment to Racial Justice


USW Local 7600 Holds a Much Needed Vigil in Memory of George Floyd

Tuesday, June 9, 2020 USW Local 7600 organized and hosted an event to promote Unity and Solidarity against the ongoing systemic and racial injustices our nation is facing to include the recent slaying of George Floyd. Political leaders, union members and the local community gathered together to show respect and protest the killing of innocent black lives. At times everyone in attendance chanted, "No justice, no peace" and the phrase, Black Lives Matter reverberated amongst the people.


 

The Alliance of Health Care Unions stands in solidarity against injustice, hate, and institutional and systemic racism. Along with the rest of the world, we witnessed the murders of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks by police. We grieve their deaths, and those of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other African American lives lost throughout our nation's history. These tragedies speak to the pervasiveness of racism that still thrives in America today. We must collectively demand change and state clearly that black lives matter.


As health care professionals, we recognize that racism and inequality are not limited to interactions with police. The COVID pandemic has once again made clear the vast disparities in health in our society as African Americans, Latino/Latinx, and Native Americans become ill and die at tragically higher rates.


We are obligated to act — both individually and collectively. As individuals, we can have the hard conversations, listen, and display empathy. Each of us has a responsibility to inform ourselves, seek different perspectives, and confront racism and micro-aggression.


Collectively we must challenge ourselves to do more starting now. The Alliance will explore more direct ways to act on these issues as an organization and in partnership with Kaiser Permanente. These include:

  • Increase training on diversity, implicit bias, and health disparities in partnership with KP, and in our own union forums.

  • Pursue concrete opportunities to use our partnership and Unit Based Teams to address racial and ethnic health disparities and unequal community conditions affecting social determinants of health.

  • Address income inequality by developing more robust programs for upward mobility within KP. This includes promoting diversity in all hiring that we influence: in our staff, in partnership positions, and at KP.

  • Promote employee volunteer engagement in our communities to address underlying social inequalities.

  • Identify opportunities for public policy initiatives to address social inequity.

As an alliance of unions, we will look for ways to support the work of our member unions on these issues.


As a partner, we will engage with Kaiser Permanente through the LMP to make this an important focus of that work.


To transform our intentions into action, we will immediately create a committee of Alliance local union leaders and staff to help direct and guide this critical work, to act with urgency, and to report back to the Executive Board and Steering Committee on our progress.

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